“This reminds me of the run-up to Iran- Contra.”
The person offering that gloomy observation was a veteran of many years in and around the US defense community. Unusually for a person with such a background, he had been a Trump supporter even during the Republican primaries. Now, though, he was worried. The new National Security Council leadership was taking form—and he feared he saw history repeating itself.
“The National Security Council,” he warned, “is not one executive body. It is a deliberative body.” But the new national security adviser, General Michael Flynn, obviously hungered to carry out policy, not merely preside over policy formation. That way lay the disaster that had befallen Reagan's national security advisers Bud Macfarlane and John Poindexter in the 1980s, who were convicted of lying to Congress about the administration selling arms to Iran to finance anti-communist militants in Nicaragua.
Disaster now seems to have happened. The Washington Post last night reported that—contrary to previous denials not only by Flynn himself, but from Vice President Mike Pence—Flynn "privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office.”