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Congratulations, Michael Flynn

Sure, everyone is knocking Michael Flynn for having unauthorized conversations with the Russians about sensitive topics, and then lying about it. But look on the bright side! He is (probably) a new record-holder! Everyone wants to make it into the record books, right?

So far as I have been able to determine, Michael Flynn is now the shortest-serving member of the United States National Security Council in history (excluding acting officeholders), having spent a mere 24 days as National Security Advisor.

He’s easily the shortest-serving National Security Advisor, beating out Richard V. Allen in the Reagan administration, who served 348 days. It’s not often that you see records blown out by that kind of margin! Most of the other seats on the Council have never had anyone whose tenure even approached Flynn’s now-dominant record. United States Trade Representative? 377 days. White House Chief of Staff? 252 days. Director of the Office of Management and Budget? 246 days.

Indeed, the closest anyone else appears to have been to Flynn’s amazing accomplishment was George W. Ball, Ambassador to the United Nations under Johnson, who served in that position for 92 days in 1968. Flynn’s tenure was only 26% as long as Ball’s; Michael Flynn can laugh at the previous record-holders!

Now, in the interests of full disclosure, the Deputy National Security Advisor also sits on the National Security Council, and exact service dates for that position don’t appear to be widely available, but there’s no reason to believe anyone served fewer than around 300 days. There have also been a few people who have held positions on the National Security Council in an acting capacity for a short tenure; Flynn beats out most of them, too, but not (for example) the 14 days Mark Filip spent as acting Attorney General in 2009 or the two acting Attorney Generals under the Trump administration at 10 days apiece. Still, that hardly seems a fair comparison, and shouldn’t do anything to detract from Michael Flynn’s amazing accomplishment.

Congratulations, Michael Flynn, for becoming the fastest-exiting advisor in the history of the National Security Council!! Yours is a record that may very well stand for all time.

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