Obama warned Trump about Flynn, former officials say

The White House says Flynn was sacked for misleading top officials about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States. Writing on his personal Twitter account, Trump accused that it was in fact the Obama administration which gave Flynn "the highest security clearance".

The Obama administration had fired Flynn back in 2014 for what has been labeled as mismanagement and temperament issues.

A former member of the Obama administration says that wasn't Trump's first caution about Flynn.

Obama hired Flynn as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012.

Two administration officials said Obama also warned Trump to stay vigilant on North Korea.

In hindsight, Mr Trump would have been better served heeding his predecessor's advice, as the ensuing scandal over contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak quickly ended Flynn's controversial tenure as the president's national security advisor.

Flynn and other White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, had publicly denied that Flynn had discussed economic sanctions on Russian Federation with Kislyak.

The Associated Press is reporting that President Barack Obama warned Donald Trump against hiring Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser prior to Trump naming Flynn to the position.

Flynn's forced February resignation followed media reports that he had discussed USA -imposed sanctions on Russian Federation with Ambassador Kislyak, which was contrary to the public representations of the Trump White House.

But Mr Spicer said that should not come as a surprise "given that General Flynn had worked for President Obama [and] was an outspoken critic of President Obama's shortcomings specifically as it related to his lack of strategy confronting Isis and other threats around that were facing America".

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, right, and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, prepare to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 8, 2017, before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing: "Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election". The event is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Yates will be speaking publicly for the first time on what she knew of Russia's interference in the November election, a scandal that has dogged the Republican president from the start of his four-year term.

Trump on Monday sought to preempt potentially damaging testimony with tweets blaming the Obama administration for giving his national security adviser a security clearance and urging Yates be questioned about whether she was responsible for leaks about Flynn. He retired when Trump took office. But that hearing got swept up in the fiasco surrounding Nunes' clandestine White House trip and later led to him stepping aside from leading his panel's investigation.

Another big question that has never been answered: Did Flynn coordinate with the president over his repeated contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak?

Trump and congressional Republicans have repeatedly sought to shift the focus of hearings about Russian election year meddling to questions about who in the USA government may have leaked details about the FBI's probe into possible coordination between Trump associates and Russian officials.

Flynn was sacked as national security adviser, White House officials said, because he told Vice President Pence he didn't discuss those sanctions with Kislyak, despite Federal Bureau of Investigation transcripts showing that he did.

The bottom line: Collins told CNBC afterwards that they didn't discuss drug prices, but spent a lot of time talking about the Trump administration's proposed cuts in NIH funding. Naturally, the internet was awash with tweets declaring "Sally Yates is a patriot" in the lead up to her testimony.

Comey declined to elaborate on the meeting with Yates in the open committee session. Though she was appointed to positions in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, she was widely respected on both sides of the aisle.

She was confirmed, 84-12.

  • Larry Hoffman