Donald Trump repeats Sean Spicer's deflection on Michael Flynn: Blame Barack Obama!

The president, like his press secretary, is trying to pass the buck for hiring Flynn to Obama

By Matthew Rozsa
April 28, 2017 11:19PM (UTC)
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(Getty/Mark Makela/AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Remember when White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Thursday that President Barack Obama was to blame for not properly vetting former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who Donald Trump hired as his top national security adviser? Despite the fact that Flynn, who was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency — and was eventually fired by Obama? Well, that inconvenient fact is not stopping Trump from using the same erroneous logic in an interview to be aired on Fox News on Friday night.

"Well let me tell you, I do feel badly for him," Trump is reported to say when asked aborved the country. He was a general."


Trump then adds, "But just remember, he was approved by the Obama administration at the highest level. And when they say we didn't do that, well Obama I guess didn't that, because he was approved at the highest level of security by the Obama administration. So when he came into our administration, for a short period of time, he came in, he was already approved by the Obama administration and he had years left on that approval."

Spicer used the same claim on Thursday, arguing that Flynn's 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, 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."


Spicer concluded, "So 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."


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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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