Today shall be an eventful day with Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates set to tell the Senate that she sent a “forceful warning” to the Trump administration about Michael Flynn’s vulnerability to Russian blackmail. And now, both NBC and CNN are reporting that former President Obama — who fired Flynn as director of National Intelligence in 2014 — told Trump not to hire the retired military general, but Trump did it anyway.
The news puts a nice cap on the absurdity of Sean Spicer’s recent accusation against the Obama White House. The press secretary had insisted that Flynn’s security clearance was all Obama’s fault, and Trump was simply trusting his predecessor and letting that clearance stand. Well, NBC’s Katy Tur was first with the scoop, which relayed word from three former White House officials, who all agreed that Obama tried to warn Trump that Flynn was not to be trusted. An NBC report followed with one Trump official disputing the tone of Obama’s comments:
The warning, which has not been previously reported, came less than 48 hours after the November election when the two sat down for a 90-minute conversation in the Oval Office.
A senior Trump administration official acknowledged Monday that Obama raised the issue of Flynn, saying the former president made clear he was “not a fan of Michael Flynn.” Another official said Obama’s remark seemed like it was made in jest.
CNN’s Jim Acosta quickly confirmed NBC’s report after speaking with multiple former Obama officials:
Then-President Barack Obama warned then-President-elect Donald Trump about hiring Michael Flynn as his national security adviser in their Oval Office meeting on November 10, former Obama officials confirm to CNN.
This would have been the meeting where Trump and Obama awkwardly shook hands for the cameras before Trump called his predecessor a “very good man.” Reports then surfaced that Trump was aghast during the entire meeting at the “scope” of his new duties, but it seems that one crucial piece of advice never hit home. If only Trump had listened, perhaps the whole Russia thing wouldn’t have blown up so much in the news, but all along, Trump has argued that the entire problem is the “leaks.”
Meanwhile, the Trump White House has already fired back. NBC’s Peter Alexander relayed this statement, which doesn’t deny that Obama provided the warning. However, Trump (once again) blames Obama for Flynn’s security clearance and for … holding a long conversation?