Behind the scenes as Michael Flynn writes his letter of resignation - Macleans.ca
 

Behind the scenes as Michael Flynn writes his letter of resignation

A few words stood out in the Trump aide’s formal goodbye. Okay, mostly one word.


 
FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2014 file photo, then-Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 11, 2014 file photo, then-Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)

“I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way.” Michael Flynn, U.S. National Security Advisor, Feb. 13, 2017

FLYNN: Thank you for helping me type that up.

ASSISTANT: No problem. I know this is a very difficult time for you, sir.

FLYNN: So are you going to print it out now or…

ASSISTANT: Yep! Yeah, totally.

FLYNN: Thanks.

[There is a silence.]

ASSISTANT: It’s just…

FLYNN: What is it?

ASSISTANT: It’s… I just wonder if maybe we could cut a word or two. Or five. I wonder if we should maybe cut exactly five words from this.

FLYNN: Which ones?

ASSISTANT: Well, you see this sentence here in the middle of the letter—the sentence where you actually do the tendering of the resignation?

FLYNN: Sure.

ASSISTANT: I’m wondering if maybe—just for clarity and brevity, mind you – I wonder if possibly we just lose the part where you say “in such a distinguished way.”

FLYNN: What exactly is your issue with those words?

ASSISTANT: I wouldn’t call it an issue, sir! Not at all. I know you’ve put the whole of your heart and soul into this job for almost one entire month. And I know you’ve had many successes and achievements, such as… um… your various accomplishments.

FLYNN: So what’s the problem?

ASSISTANT: No problem! No problem at all. In fact, now that I look at the sentence again, I can tell you: I like many of those five words! Several of those five words are absolutely perfect. ‘In.’ ‘A.’ ‘Way.’ All great. Top-notch words. And ‘such’—‘such’ just nailed it. I wouldn’t touch the ‘such.’

FLYNN: So that leaves…

ASSISTANT: Well, it just leaves that one other word there.

FLYNN: Hmm.

ASSISTANT: And I don’t know—maybe it’s just me—but that one word just kind of leaps out given that you lied to the…

FLYNN: [Glares.]

ASSISTANT: … given that you hesitated to fully un-de-inform the Vice President about your phone call with the Russians.

[There is a long, awkward silence. Somewhere, a coyote howls.]

FLYNN: Tell you what—I’ll meet you halfway. Can we maybe swap in a different word?

ASSISTANT: Sure! Great idea! What do you have in mind, sir?

FLYNN: How about ‘heroic’?

ASSISTANT: You know what? ‘Distinguished’ is good. Let’s stick with that.


 

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