According to recent reporting, Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, may soon face criminal charges for lying about payments he received from Russia and Turkey. As has been the pattern with this White House, the Trump administration has refused to take any responsibility for the Flynn debacle, placing the blame on former president Barack Obama.
Press secretary Sean Spicer claimed that any failures to detect Flynn’s improper relationship with foreign governments was the responsibility of the former administration, not the Trump administration. Specifically, Spicer claimed that the Trump administration had relied on the security clearance vetting process performed by the Obama administration on Flynn, and not on its own vetting procedures.
These statements by Spicer appear to be false. As reported by The Hill: “The White House and President Trump’s transition team reportedly did a background check on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in addition to his already approved security clearance, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported Friday evening.”
“NBC News has learned from sources close to the Trump-Russia investigation that both the Trump transition and the White House did do a background check on Flynn…This is in addition to his already approved security clearance. They did a background check on Flynn specifically for him to become national security adviser.”
The Trump administration needs to take responsibility for Flynn and the risk his ties to foreign countries may have presented. As Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, stated: “The White House had its own responsibility to fully vet General Flynn since new information became public during the transition — well after General Flynn’s last background check — about his lobbying on behalf of foreign interests. The White House needs to stop making excuses to protect General Flynn.”