It looks like alleged president Donald Trump did not apply extreme vetting to his own cabinet picks, most especially one as important as National security adviser.
According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Michael Flynn was working as a “foreign agent” when Trump gave him the job and the amateur president was totally unaware of this. When Spicer was asked by reporters at his press briefing on Thursday about the explosive new revelations about Flynn, he said, “I don’t believe that was known.”
Flynn had been working to further the interests of the government of Turkey before Trump appointed him, the White House said.
To borrow a quote from Joe Biden, this is a big fucking deal:
The comments came two days after Flynn and his firm, Flynn Intel Group Inc., filed paperwork with the Justice Department formally identifying him as a foreign agent and acknowledging that his work for a company owned by a Turkish businessman could have aided Turkey’s government. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday called the action “an affirmation of the president’s decision to ask General Flynn to resign.”
Not so fast, Mr. Vice-President. After Flynn resigned, Trump said that the former aide was subjected to “criminal” leaks in the “fake media.” Trump went on to describe Flynn as a ‘wonderful’ man and added, “I think it’s really a sad thing he was treated so badly.”
A flow of intelligence leaks revealed that Flynn has secretly discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn then tried to cover it up and that ultimately led to his resignation.
And on Wednesday, things got worse for Flynn. From September to November of 2016, Flynn was working as a top adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign while lobbying for a firm linked to the Turkish government. For that, Flynn earned $530,000. Just two days ago, Flynn and his company Flynn Intel Group Inc, filed retroactive documents with the Department of Justice to register as a foreign agent.
When Spicer was asked whether Trump would still have hired Flynn as his national security adviser if he had known he had been working as a foreign agent, he said, “I don’t know … That’s a hypothetical. I don’t know what was discussed prior to the appointment in terms of his background, his résumé, his client base.”
“From what I’ve read, he has filed appropriate forms with the Department of Justice; ask them and subsequently him if you have any questions about the filing,” Spicer continued.
Spicer added that he was unaware of whether Flynn was involved in any discussions about foreign policy regarding Turkey. “I don’t know. I don’t have anything on that,” he added.
Spicer is unaware of whether his boss would still have hired Flynn if he had known that he was working as a foreign agent. You can’t make this stuff up.
We’re going to have to build a wall around the White House until we figure out what’s going on.
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