Homeland Security

CNN Analyst Juliette Kayyem Walks Back Incendiary Claim of Mike Flynn Flipping to FBI

Former top Obama Homeland Security official and “Security Mom” author Juliette Kayyem appeared on Don Lemon’s CNN program this weekend and made an astounding claim: former Trump National Security Adviser Mike Flynn had flipped against the administration and cut a deal with the FBI.

That claim flew around social media all day yesterday and continues to be circulated, despite the fact that Kayyem quickly backtracked on it.

Now if anyone is to blame for making this now seemingly false claim go viral it’s Kayyem herself, as she is the one who posted the video of her making the claim on CNN to her Twitter account.

One of the first to jump on board to push out her inflammatory claim was Huffington Post contributor Seth Abramson, who invoked his own legal background to lend credence to Kayyem’s story:

Then Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe jumped in:

Next, left-wing blogs pushed the story out:

Needless to say, there were some skeptics:

With the sensational story making the full rounds on social media Kayyem then backtracked, posting the following “clarification” on Facebook:

https://twitter.com/alimhaider/status/845809280863358979

Of particular note was this line:

But, to be clear, I did not say on this segment that I have any confirmation that he is actually cooperating or that I have talked to anyone who does.

Having rolled out the rumor rug, Kayyem pulled it out from underneath everyone hyping her claim.

Note that in her tweet pushing out the Don Lemon segment where she made the claim, she invoked “her sources.” As mentioned above, if anyone was responsible for pushing out misleading or intentionally misdirecting anyone, it was Kayyem herself.

Distraught supporters then began their own walkbacks, beginning with Seth Abramson:

One wonders about the timing of all this, as a full day had passed for the story to fully circulate in time for the Sunday morning news talk shows. Will anyone invoke Kayyem’s claim despite her walkback? We’ll see.

As I noted last month, immediately following Mike Flynn’s resignation as Trump’s national security adviser, the stories that had dogged him and led to his departure quickly came apart.

Namely, that the FBI had no intention of charging Flynn.

So what exactly Flynn would be cutting a deal with the FBI over is far from clear.

It should be noted that Kayyem, a former Obama administration official, has been actively hyping Trump-Russia conspiracy theories.

And she has been given to making incendiary statements, such as appearing on CNN during the 2014 Ferguson riots and calling Mike Brown’s death “a murder”:

And her terrorism analysis could be charitably described as “suspect,” as when she declared on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that “the war on terrorism is over” or pronounced the death of Al-Qaeda in 2012 (it’s still very much alive and thriving):

Given this current episode of her passing Harvard parlor-room gossip as breaking news and indulging in Trump-Russia fantasies, perhaps the followup book to her “Security Mom” should be “Manchurian Mom.”