President Donald Trump is following the lead of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and blaming former President Barack Obama for failing to properly vet Trump’s own nominee for national security adviser.
In an interview with Fox News that will air Friday night, Trump will say that it was Obama’s responsibility to vet former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — despite the fact that Flynn was pushed out of his job at the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.
“He was approved by the Obama administration at the highest level,” Trump said of Flynn, according to a preview transcript of the interview. “And when they said we didn’t vet, well, I guess Obama didn’t vet because he was approved by the highest level of security by the Obama administration.”
Trump never addressed whether he or his administration had any responsibility to vet Flynn, despite the fact that there were several red flags about his past decisions to accept money from the Russian government to deliver speeches.
This line of argument was first deployed by Spicer earlier this week when he said that the real problem with Flynn’s appointment lay in President Obama’s decision to appoint Flynn as the head of the DIA in 2012 — despite the fact that the Obama administration forced Flynn out of his job just two years afterward.
Even though Flynn had been forced out of the DIA for regularly clashing with superiors, President Donald Trump decided to make Flynn his national security adviser — and then had to fire him shortly afterwards after he misled both the American public and Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his contacts with Russian government officials.
Read Trump’s full answer below.