Mike Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and short-lived National Security Advisor under President Trump, has found himself at the center of allegations levied at the Trump Administration regarding Russian collusion in the 2016 Presidential election. Recent revelations regarding payments totaling more than a half million dollars given to Flynn by companies representing foreign governments have made it clear that Flynn was, at best, a poor choice for National Security Advisor – but the pressing question remains: how did a guy with such brazen ties to political opponents of the United States find himself in such an influential and powerful position within our federal government?
If you ask Trump’s team, we have Barrack Obama to blame. According to multiple sources, the Trump White House did little vetting of Flynn (or possibly even none at all) because his security clearance had been renewed as recently as 2016 under the Obama Administration. That renewal was likely tied to Flynn’s management of the Flynn Intel Group, and wouldn’t be subject to renewal once more until 2021.
“And when they say we didn’t vet, well Obama I guess didn’t vet, because he was approved at the highest level of security by the Obama administration,” President Trump said. “So when he came into our administration, for a short period of time, he came in, he was already approved by the Obama administration and he had years left on that approval.”
Sean Spicer echoed the president’s sentiments in a press briefing soon thereafter: “When General Flynn came into the White House, he had an active security clearance that was issued during the Obama administration with all the information that’s being discussed that occurred in 2015. Why would you rerun a background check on someone who was the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency that had and did maintain a high-level security clearance?”