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According to a new CNN report, General Michael Flynn reached out to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in April 2018 — while the former was ostensibly cooperating with the Mueller probe — to encourage the Congressman’s vocal criticism of the Special Counsel investigation.

In several direct messages via Twitter, Flynn reportedly told Gaetz to “keep the pressure on” and “You stay on top of what you’re doing. Your leadership is so vital for our country now.” Flynn sent the message almost at the very same moment that Gaetz appeared on Fox Business Network to bash the Special Counsel, saying: “”We’ve got to play a far stronger role in exposing the hypocrisy at the Department of Justice. …With no evidence of collusion, with no evidence of any crime whatsoever, they unleashed Bob Mueller to go investigate things that happened before Donald Trump was even contemplating running for president.”

While discussing this latest revelation on CNN, Anderson Cooper reacted to Flynn’s seemingly reckless behavior by wondering aloud if Flynn was a “moron” and, later, an “idiot.”

CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin bluntly agreed with Cooper’s assessment: “Yes. I think idiot is the operative word here because he was cooperating with Mueller” at the time. “Now, it is not illegal for him to reach out to a Congressman who was critical of Mueller,” Toobin acknowledged. But pointed out that it is generally a very bad idea for cooperating witnesses, who are trying to demonstrate their value to the prosecution in exchange for reduced jail time, to simultaneously be fueling anger at the person they are cooperating with.

However, Toobin did offer an alternate theory as to why Flynn would risk jeopardizing his plea deal with the Special Counsel. “This message is also potentially part of an either subconscious or obvious campaign for a pardon,” Toobin said. “Because [Flynn] aligning himself with Gaetz, who is a very strong [Donald] Trump supporter, a harsh critic of Mueller, as of course is Trump, 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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