According to three Obama administration employees, President Trump had known about the Flynn-Russia collusion from his predecessor Barack Obama but decided to ignore the warning. The Obama officials made the revelations on the same day former acting AG Sally Yates was slated for a Senate hearing on the issue.
According to an NBC report, Obama told his successor two days after Trump’s election victory, that he “was not a fan” of Flynn, and this is why he fired him in 2014. One official said that Obama didn’t go into details but advised Trump not to hire the retired General to such an important position in the new Cabinet because he wasn’t fit for the job.
According to sources, Obama’s warning came more than a month before the transition team learned about Flynn’s contact with the Russian envoy to the U.S. The officials told NBC that the former president passed along a “general caution” that the now-disgraced former national security adviser was not suitable for the position.
The NBC report came as a bombshell ahead of Yates’ testimony, as everyone expected from her to say how the White House ignored her warnings about Flynn one month before his ouster.
Trump instead tried to deflect attention from the new revelations to topics that he is personally interested in. Before the hearing, he tweeted. Senators should ask Yates how classified information about his administration was leaked to the newspapers shortly after she briefed the White House Council.
In January, the former interim AG explicitly warned the WH Counsel that the gaps in Flynn’s Russia story made him an easy target to Russian blackmail. Three weeks later, Flynn resigned amid a huge controversy caused by some leaks on his communications with a Russian ambassador. Despite Yates’ warning, Trump denied knowing anything about Flynn’s misconduct prior to his ouster.
On Monday, Yates reiterated she warned Trump’s lawyer about the likelihood his former national security adviser to be vulnerable to Russian manipulation. But the White House replied it was not her department’s business to investigate why one administration official (Flynn) lied to another official (Vice President Mike Pence).
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