White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attempted to deflect questions about former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn by pinning the blame on former President Barack Obama.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the ranking member and chairman of the House Oversight Committee, respectively, publicly criticized the Trump White House for denying their request for documents related to Flynn.
“I don’t understand why the White House is covering up for Michael Flynn,” said Cummings.
Cummings to the White House over not handing over Mike Flynn info: “Come on, man” (one of Obama's favorite lines) pic.twitter.com/DbNWi1bbz1
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 27, 2017
Flynn, who was directly instructed in 2014 not to take money from foreign governments without explicit permission, took $34,000 in December 2015 for a speaking gala concerning Russian TV and more than $500,000 for lobbying on the behalf of the Turkish interests ahead of the November election. Citing a defense intelligence official, NBC News reported that no record of Flynn asking for permission or approval “for the receipt of money from a foreign source.”
Facing accusations that Flynn’s vetting process by the Trump team was insufficient or perhaps non-existent, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Thursday that the Obama administration was responsible for giving Flynn his security clearance in 2012, despite the fact that the Obama administration forced Flynn out of his job just two years later.
“His clearance was last reissued by the Obama administration in 2016 with full knowledge of his activities in 2015,” Spicer said. “All of that clearance was made by the Obama administration.”
The Week notes, “Of course, it was still the Trump team that named Flynn as the administration’s national security adviser, a role he filled for just 24 days.”
RawStory adds, “Earlier this week, Spicer said that the Trump administration had no responsibility to maintain any paperwork related to Flynn’s hiring because Flynn had filled out those particular forms before the administration came into power in January.”