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CNN’s Anderson Cooper called Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn both a “moron” and an “idiot” for privately reaching out to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Twitter to encourage criticism of the Mueller probe at the same time that the former National Security Adviser was supposed to be cooperating with the Mueller probe.

“[His actions] also point out he’s probably a moron,” Cooper said, clearly flabbergasted by Flynn’s recklessness. “The guy is claiming to be cooperating and is sending direct messages over Twitter to a member of Congress. Flynn is still awaiting sentencing. Couldn’t this complicate things for him?” As part of the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and transition, Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI last year, in exchange for a cooperation deal that would lighten his sentence.

Cooper was reacting to a CNN story that Flynn had sent direct messages via Twitter to Gaetz, a staunch Trump supporter and Mueller probe critic, in April 2018. “You stay on top of what you’re doing. Your leadership is so vital for our country now. Keep the pressure on,” Flynn reportedly messaged Gaetz on April 3 of that year at almost the same time that the latter was appearing on the Fox Business Network to trash the Special Counsel.

“Does this make Michael Flynn appear to be an idiot?” Cooper asked CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who responded in the affirmative. “Yes. I think idiot is the operative word here because he was cooperating with Mueller” at the time, Toobin pointed out. So Flynn’s actions, Toobin noted, could end up jeopardizing the plea deal Flynn made with the Special Counsel. “A judge hearing about this may ask Flynn: ‘Well, what else were you doing? Who else were you in touch with?’ That’s why the best advice lawyers often give their clients is just shut the hell up and don’t create more problems for yourself than you already have.”

Toobin, though, suspected the logic for Flynn’s seemingly inexplicable risk is related to President Donald Trump and the emphasis he places on loyalty above all else.

“This message is also potentially part of an either subconscious or obvious campaign for a pardon because aligning himself with Gates who is a very strong Trump supporter, a harsh critic of Mueller, as of course is Trump,” Toobin said. “A lot of what defense lawyers have done, whether it’s Manafort’s lawyers or Flynn’s lawyers ,has been to try to ingratiate themselves with the president, so that regardless of what Mueller says, a pardon could solve all their problems.

Watch video above, via CNN.

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