Former President Barack Obama personally warned President Donald Trump against hiring Mike Flynn as his national security adviser, according to NBC News. And Hollywood and media pundits aren’t happy with how the current president handled it, taking to Twitter on Monday to voice their complaints (see below).
Later in the day, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer essentially confirmed the NBC News report during Monday’s press briefing, noting that Flynn was an outspoken critic of Obama’s policies.
“It’s true that the president… President Obama made it known that he wasn’t exactly a fan of General Flynn,” Spicer said. “If President Obama was truly concerned about General Flynn, why didn’t he suspend General Flynn’s security clearance?”
Obama named Flynn director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012, but the general abruptly resigned after less than two years after reports that he didn’t get along with other leaders of the intelligence community. Obama warned Trump about Flynn, but President Trump named him national security adviser anyway.
Trump fired Flynn shortly after hiring him when he learned that Flynn mislead the Trump administration about his ties to Russia. Trump and members of his inner circle have repeatedly mentioned that Flynn was given clearance by the Obama administration and Trump’s team didn’t make him re-apply for security clearance.
This morning, Trump blamed the Obama administration for giving Flynn the “highest security clearance” during an early morning Twitter session.
General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration – but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017
A Senate subcommittee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election that will hear testimony from former acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday, and Flynn is expected to be a major storyline of the investigation. NBC News broke the story of Obama warning Trump in between the morning Twitter comment and the start of Yates’ testimony.
Check out some of the Twitter reaction:
2012 Obama appoints Flynn DIA
2014 Obama fires him
2016 DOD renews Flynn's clearance
2016- With no apparent vetting Trump appoints him NSA https://t.co/6f0dOlpn64
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 8, 2017
If Trump didnt want Obama to let us know he'd warned Trump agaisnt hiring Flynn…maybe Trump shouldnt have tried to blame Obama. Just sayin
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) May 8, 2017
— Frank Rich (@frankrichny) May 8, 2017
Worse. Flynn is his kind of guy. https://t.co/XtbxIWPYRL
— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) May 8, 2017
Cuz since then, Obama canned him.
Then you and Flynn became pals.
Then he got tighter with Russia.
Then YOU hired him.
Talk about that. https://t.co/I7DAmLDrIH
— Jimmi Simpson (@jimmisimpson) May 8, 2017
— Peter Henry Fonda (@iamfonda) May 8, 2017
Spicer contradicting himself: 1) says Obama 'wasn't a fan' of Flynn 2) but blames Obama for giving him security clearance
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) May 8, 2017