Amid a White House cover-up of its failed vetting of disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Press Secretary Sean Spicer finally settled on a strategy to respond to the Trump administration's errors: Blame it on Obama.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has flailed recently in his attempts to explain the Trump administration’s colossal failure to vet former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
But at his most recent daily press briefing, Spicer appeared to have settled on a new — yet familiar — strategy.
Asked by Fox News Radio’s Jon Decker if he was satisfied with the vetting that the Trump transition team performed on Flynn, who appears to have broken the law by lying on his security clearance form, Spicer had an immediate, if nonsensical, response:
DECKER: Are you satisfied with the vetting that was done of General Flynn by the transition team before he came on board as the National Security Advisor?
SPICER: So that’s a great question. I appreciate you bringing it up. Let’s walk through that for a second. General Flynn was a career military officer who maintained a high level security clearance throughout his career in the military. His clearance was last reissued by the Obama administration in 2016 with full knowledge of his activities that occurred in 2015, as you point out. So the issue is, you know, he was issued a security clearance under the Obama administration in the spring of 2016. The trip and transactions that you’re referring to occurred in December of 2015 from what I understand. Obviously, there’s an issue that as you point out the Department of Defense inspector general is looking into. We welcome that. But all of that clearance was made during the Obama administration, and apparently with knowledge of the trip that he took. So, that’s how the process works and I welcome the Department of Defense’s IG’s review.
Of course, it is for lying on the application for that clearance for which Flynn now stands accused of breaking the law. And as CNN’s Jim Acosta pointed out later in that briefing, it is absurd for the Trump transition team to have relied solely on that existing security clearance to vet Flynn, particularly since reports of the Russian payment surfaced in the interim.
Spicer and the Trump White House can continue to talk in circles and try to shift blame, but Democrats and a growing number of Republicans aren’t buying it, and are demanding answers.