The Trump administration claims President Obama authorized Mike Flynn’s meeting with the Russian ambassador. Former intelligence chief James Clapper was not having it.
The dust has not even settled from the bombshell that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has pled guilty to false statements to the FBI about his secret meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
But the Trump administration immediately revved up its propaganda engine.
White House officials are now claiming Flynn did nothing wrong because his meeting was “authorized by the Obama administration” — a ridiculous falsehood that could easily be debunked by contacting former Obama officials.
CNN’s Jake Tapper did just that, by asking President Barack Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who could do nothing but laugh at the very notion.
“That’s absurd,” Clapper said succinctly. “That is absolutely absurd.”
TAPPER: I want to start with what the White House is saying, because they are saying things relevant to the Obama administration. First, Jim Acosta, our White House reporter, just said that the White House said that Flynn’s conversations with Ambassador Kislyak, in which he was basically trying to do the Trump transition’s own foreign policy in contrast to the Obama administration’s foreign policy, that that was with the blessings of the Obama administration. Is that true?
CLAPPER: That’s absurd. That is absolutely absurd. There was great concern at the time, not just with this particular contact, but with the violation of the principle that has normally been followed of one president, one administration, at a time. And that was what gave rise to — because of all these contacts that Mike was having and others in the transition, with the Russians and other foreign entities — you know, what was this all about? So to say that we blessed it, or acquiesced in it, is a stretch.
TAPPER: The other thing that was insteresting was the White House attorney’s referring to Flynn as a former Obama administration official. Which is technically accurate —
CLAPPER: That’s true.
TAPPER: — but you fired him.
CLAPPER: That’s right.
In fact, not only was Flynn fired by the Obama administration, but Obama officials repeatedly warned Trump that Flynn was compromised and unfit the job. Trump plowed ahead anyway — which in and of itself is incredibly damning.
It is impossible for Trump to blame President Obama for Flynn now, after having ignored warnings from Obama officials about him, consistently vouched for his character, and even promised to rehire him once the investigation was complete.
Trump owns Flynn. And there is nothing he can say to change that.