Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) on Thursday appeared on NBC’s Today to talk about the latest revelations in the Michael Flynn scandal, and he worked very hard to criticize President Donald Trump for hiring him despite having multiple red flags.
Specifically, host Matt Lauer grilled Chaffetz by asking him how Trump could possibly have hired Flynn to be his national security adviser when Flynn reportedly informed the Trump transition team that he was being investigating for his work acting as a foreign agent for the Turkish government.
Chaffetz’s first instinct was to try to deflect and blame someone else.
“I think one of the questions that also needs to be asked is… the White House itself does not make a determination as to whether or not somebody gets a security clearance,” he said. “That goes to the office of…”
“No, no, no, but wait,” Lauer interrupted. “You’re putting him in that position where he has access to all those secrets and you know he’s under federal investigation for secretly working for another country.”
“It wasn’t necessarily a secret if he is actually disclosing that,” Chaffetz said. “But the group that makes the determination as to whether he should get a security clearance is the office of the director of national intelligence.”
Lauer again interjected.
“But hiring him as the national security adviser, does that sound like good judgement, in your opinion?” he said.
“Well look, they took that into consideration, but they also look at the ODNI as to whether or not he has the proper security clearance,” Chaffetz explained. “And I do think that Donald Trump made the right decision in that he let him go 24 days into it.”
Chaffetz was then asked again if Trump should have hired Flynn in the first place.
“Well, you can make the argument that he probably shouldn’t have,” he finally admitted.
Watch the video below.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 18, 2017