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Richard Perle: Flynn Might Have Politicized Opponents Inside Intel

Monday, 13 Feb 2017 04:11 PM

National security adviser Michael Flynn might be the target of opponents inside the intelligence community who want to "make problems" for him, the American Enterprise Institute's Richard Perle charged Monday.

Perle, a former assistant secretary of defense and former chairman of the Pentagon Defense Policy Board, appeared on Newsmax TV's "The Steve Malzberg Show," decrying efforts to undermine Flynn.

Flynn has come under fire for admitting – after an initial denial – the issue of sanctions against Russia might have come up in calls with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States.

But Perle said it is unclear if the calls would be problematic since "we don't know the substance of the conversations, so it's very difficult to judge."

"I don't think there would be a problem although there's a huge effort under way to make problems for Mike Flynn," he charged. "I don't think there's any doubt about that."

"Without the substance of the conversation we won't know," he said. "But what's really striking is that if there are intercepts, these leaks of intercepts are coming from inside of the intelligence community, and that's a terrible thing undermining the national security adviser by leaking information.

"Clearly the intelligence community doesn't like Flynn because he shook them up when he was trying to make our intelligence services effective in Afghanistan – and he did a lot of things that were not welcome by the CIA," Perle charged.

Perle said he hopes Flynn rides out the current controversy.

"I hope he stays – he's a very capable guy," Perle said. "If he's pushed out by maneuvering on the part of the CIA working with opponents of the administration, it will be a very bad sign for things to come."

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Perle also weighed in on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, warning "there is a State Department line, and that line is perfectly reflected by support for the Iran agreement."

"Whether he'll succeed in convincing the president" to drop his opposition to the deal, "I don't know," Perle said.

"He may well argue on the grounds, among other things, that our allies and negotiating partners are committed to it," Perle said. "That I think is likely. Whether he'll persuade Trump, I think it's impossible to say, but it's a very bad deal, and we should have a strategy in place for working our way out of it. That doesn't mean announcing on day one that we're vacating the agreement. We can and should be more subtle than that."

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National security adviser Michael Flynn might be the target of opponents inside the intelligence community who want to "make problems" for him, the American Enterprise Institute's Richard Perle charged Monday.
national, security, adviser, Michael Flynn
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2017-11-13
Monday, 13 Feb 2017 04:11 PM
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