Tags: Michael Flynn resignation | Trump Administration | spicer | flynn | obama admin. | security clearance

Spicer: Obama Administration Renewed Flynn's Security Clearance

Image: Spicer: Obama Administration Renewed Flynn's Security Clearance

By    |   Thursday, 27 Apr 2017 02:03 PM

The White House is now blaming the Obama administration for the debacle surrounding former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn briefly served in President Donald Trump's administration before he was fired for failing to disclose communications with a Russian official. During Wednesday's White House press briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer said Flynn's security clearance was reissued by the Obama administration in 2016.

"Gen. 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," Spicer said.

"He was issued a security clearance under the Obama administration in the spring of 2016. The trip [to Moscow] and transactions that you are referring to occurred in December of 2015, from what I understand. Obviously, there is an issue that the Department of Defense is looking into. We welcome that."

Flynn served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012-2014 and was a three-star lieutenant general in the Army. He traveled to Moscow in December 2015 and gave a paid speech at an event for Russian propaganda news network RT and was spotted at Russian President Vladimir Putin's table during the dinner.

The Department of Defense is now investigating whether Flynn broke the law by accepting a payment from a foreign government without receiving prior approval.

Spicer was peppered with questions about the process of obtaining a security clearance to work in the White House, which he compared to journalists in the White House press pool.

He said a clearance is valid for five years, and in the White House, an individual does not have to be reinvestigated when a new administration takes office during that five-year active window.

"You are reinvestigated every five years if you're able to maintain that clearance," Spicer said.

"My only point is when Gen. Flynn came into the White House, he had an active security clearance that was issued during the Obama administration with all of the information that's being discussed that occurred in 2015."

"Why would you rerun a background check on someone who is the head of the Department of Defense Intelligence Agency that had and did maintain a high level security clearance?"

Flynn has offered to talk with the FBI and Congress about potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign if he is granted immunity. 

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The White House is now blaming the Obama administration for the debacle surrounding former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
spicer, flynn, obama admin., security clearance
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2017-03-27
Thursday, 27 Apr 2017 02:03 PM
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