In today’s press conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer addressed the issue of President Obama providing a timely warning to Donald Trump against hiring Michael Flynn.
Spicer denied knowing the details of the discussion, but repeatedly put it off as President Obama making it clear he “wasn’t exactly a fan of General Flynn.” Spicer defended Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, saying that President Obama’s reason for warning Trump against Flynn was because he was “outspoken about Obama’s lack of strategy” on ISIS.
And Spicer retreated frequently to the standard position of the Trump regime over the last week: It’s Obama’s fault for giving Flynn a high level of security clearance, a level that Spicer insisted was equal to that Flynn would require as NSA, saying that the DNI and NSA had the same level of clearance.
Except that’s not true.
Flynn didn’t get the clearance he would need to fill the national security adviser role under the Obama administration. Or under Trump. He never got that clearance at all.
Spicer’s continuing claims that the Obama administration renewed Flynn’s clearance are intentionally deceptive. Flynn’s renewal would have been handled by the Defense Department. It’s highly unlikely that the White House was even aware that he had applied. It also seems likely that the Defense Department may not have been aware of all of Flynn’s extracurricular activities—activities that certainly did become public during the campaign.
In an earlier interview, James Mattis stated that the Trump campaign had “thrown out’ his years of experience and done a very through vetting before he assumed his role in the administration. But the Trump regime’s own statements suggest that no such effort was made to clear Flynn.
President Obama warned them about Michael Flynn. Sally Yates warned them about Michael Flynn. But Michael Flynn was apparently never given the level of review that others in Trump’s incoming team received.