- The Washington Times - Monday, May 8, 2017

The White House confirmed Monday that President Obama discouraged President-elect Trump last November from hiring Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser, but said Mr. Obama took no steps on his own to yank Mr. Flynn’s security clearance.

“It’s true President Obama made it known that he wasn’t exactly a fan of Gen. Flynn‘s,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer. “Frankly it shouldn’t come as a surprise. … He was an outspoken critic of President Obama.”

The warning came during an Oval Office meeting between Mr. Obama and Mr. Trump, two days after the Republican’s victory in November. Mr. Obama had fired Mr. Flynn as the head of the military’s intelligence branch.

Mr. Trump eventually chose Mr. Flynn as White House national security adviser, but fired him after less than a month for allegedly misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the extent of his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Spicer reiterated the administration’s argument that if Mr. Obama had concerns about Mr. Flynn, he should have revoked his security clearance rather than re-approving it in April 2016.

“Why didn’t he suspend Gen. Flynn’s security clearance?” Mr. Spicer asked. “There were steps they could have taken if that was truly a concern,” he added, rather than just a case of “bad blood.”

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