— David Mack (@davidmackau) April 27, 2017
Sean Spicer managed — in a roundabout way — to blame former President Obama for President Trump’s appointment of Michael Flynn as national security advisor. He did so while being grilled by CNN’s Jim Acosta, who brought up the subject after the House Oversight Committee revealed that the Pentagon warned Flynn against taking foreign payments after his 2014 military retirement. Flynn spent the next few years accepting money for Moscow speeches and Turkish lobbying while failing to report this income on his disclosure statements, and then he tried to retroactively register as a foreign agent.
It’s all sketchy stuff, and Acosta marveled at how Spicer was trying to twist the narrative: “General Flynn came in with just the Obama administration vetting? Is that right? That’s the impression you’re giving. That doesn’t make any sense.”
Spicer responded, “Sure it does. The same way that you applied for a credential to the White House briefing room …. Hold on, let me explain the answer to you, Jim. Calm down, the kids are gone.” This remark likely referred to Take Your Kids To Work Day (which Paul Ryan very much enjoyed), but it still lands with the same vibe that Melissa McCarthy captures so well on SNL.
What followed was a convoluted excuse for why the Trump administration didn’t dig into Flynn’s record. Spicer tried to explain that the Obama White House cleared Flynn (he claims this status was re-upped in 2016), so he was treated like anyone else with security clearance. This would especially be the case, Spicer believes, because Flynn served as Director of National Intelligence (before Obama fired him), and the new White House put “trust” in the existing clearance. In other words, thanks, Obama … and all that.
Amazing. Meanwhile, the House Oversight Committee, the Senate, and the FBI are still digging into Russia-Trump ties, and Spicer’s continued attempts to erase Flynn from all things Trump all look rather silly.