Days after firing Michael Flynn as national security adviser, President Donald Trump regretted that decision, and continues to support Flynn, according to several reports.
Politico on Friday reported, citing several unnamed sources close to Trump, that after Flynn left the White House in February, the President said he should have kept Flynn on.
“I was kind of stunned,” one source told Politico. “You fired him already. What are you going to do?”
An unnamed adviser close to the President told Politico that Trump called Flynn a “good man” and defended him using the precise wording the New York Times reported fired FBI Director James Comey described in a memo documenting a meeting in February between Trump and himself.
According to the New York Times, Trump asked Comey in that meeting to shut down the FBI’s investigation into Flynn, a request Comey documented as “part of a paper trail” regarding what he saw as Trump’s improper attempts to influence the probe.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump said, as quoted in the report. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
Trump on Thursday categorically denied pressuring Comey to drop the FBI’s probe. As recently as May, however, he continued to defend Flynn as “a very good person.”
An unnamed White House official told Politico that Trump “loves” Flynn and thinks “everyone is out to get him.”
Politico also reported, citing unnamed White House officials, that Trump has instructed people to pass on “warm messages” to Flynn if they talk to him.
According to a report by Yahoo News, Flynn announced at a dinner in late April that he had “just got a message from the President to stay strong.” It was not known whether that message was a direct communication or how Flynn received it.
The Daily Beast reported on Thursday, citing a source close to Flynn, that he has maintained communication with Trump to “protect the President,” though Trump’s lawyers have repeatedly warned him not to contact Flynn, reportedly citing fears that any such contact could look like witness tampering or coordination.
“Supposedly they’ve spoken since Flynn was fired,” an unnamed White House staffer told the Daily Beast, saying that Trump “clearly feels bad about how things went down.”
The Daily Beast also cited an unnamed longtime Trump confidant who said the President mentioned he’s been in contact with Flynn “in the past few weeks.”
One White House official even told the Daily Beast that Trump “feels really, really, really bad about firing him, and he genuinely thinks if the investigation is over Flynn can come back.”