Former administration officials on Friday dismissed the White House’s attempt to pin Donald Trump’s onetime national security adviser Mike Flynn on his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Discussing the bombshell development that Flynn has accepted a plea deal as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference, CNN’s Jim Acosta reported that White House officials attempting to downplay the connection between Flynn and Trump.
“They are saying here at the White House that Flynn’s conversations with Sergey Kisylak were quote ‘authorized’ by the Obama administration,” Acosta said.
“We should point out, that is something that we have not heard before in terms of a defense from this White House,” he added.
In an interview with Jame Clapper shortly after that report, the former Director of National Intelligence dismissed the Trump administration’s claim as “absurd.”
A senior WH official told CNN that the Obama admin "authorized" Flynn's conversation with Kislyak. But former DNI C… https://t.co/t7HmyuaI4k— Jim Acosta (@Jim Acosta) 1512166512.0
According to Acosta, “a separate former Obama national security admin official called this claim ‘laughable.’”
A separate former Obama national security admin official called this claim "laughable." https://t.co/NYRz45lPeM— Jim Acosta (@Jim Acosta) 1512166913.0
Flynn played an integral role in Trump’s campaign and the transition, and would have been a major voice in the administration had he stayed in place as national security adviser. While Flynn did serve under Obama, Trump’s predecessor warned him against hiring Flynn during their Oval Office meeting shortly after the election.
A senior Trump administration official told NBC News Obama made it clear he’s “not a fan of Michael Flynn” in that meeting.