‘Calm Down’: Spicer Says it Makes Sense Michael Flynn Wasn’t Vetted By Trump Administration
Prior to today’s White House press briefing, it was reported that the Pentagon had warned former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn about taking foreign payments back in 2014. Also, Flynn is currently being investigated by the Department of Defense’s inspector general.
Therefore, it was natural that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was going to be confronted with questions about Flynn today. One of the things reporters wanted to know is what level of vetting the transition team and White House gave Flynn prior to handing him the job of national security advisor. Well, according to the spokesman, the blame was entirely on the Obama administration.
Yep. That was his position. The White House was relying on the prior security clearance issued to Flynn by the prior administration and didn’t feel it was necessary to do anything else.
With Spicer laying this gauntlet down, CNN’s Jim Acosta decided to confront him on it, asking him if the impression he was giving was that President Donald Trump was relying on vetting from the Obama White House. After Spicer noted that was what he was saying, Acosta pushed it a bit further.
“General Flynn came in and walked through the door with just the clearance that was conducted by the Obama administration,” he noted. “That doesn’t make any sense.”
“Sure it does,” Spicer exclaimed. As he tried to first explain exactly how this made any sense, Acosta and CBS News’ Major Garrett raised a bit of a fuss, leading to Spicer to tell them to “calm down” and that he would give them an answer.
His response? He compared it to members of the White House press corps relying on current background screens to get cleared by the Secret Service. Spicer then went on to explain the SF-86 form that Flynn filled out to get a security clearance in 2016, claiming it is very extensive.
Earlier this week, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz stated that Flynn may have broken the law by accepting payments from Russian firms.
Watch the exchange above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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