On a day filled with more explosive developments surrounding the investigation into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, The New York Times just added fuel to the raging dumpster fire threatening to take down this White House.
According to the stunning new report, Trump and his transition team knew that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was under investigation before taking office, far earlier than initially reported, as the Times notes.
More from the report:
Michael T. Flynn told President Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case.
Despite this warning, which came about a month after the Justice Department notified Mr. Flynn of the inquiry, Mr. Trump made Mr. Flynn his national security adviser. The job gave Mr. Flynn access to the president and nearly every secret held by American intelligence agencies.
Mr. Flynn’s disclosure, on Jan. 4, was first made to the transition team’s chief lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, who is now the White House counsel. That conversation, and another one two days later between Mr. Flynn’s lawyer and transition lawyers, shows that the Trump team knew about the investigation of Mr. Flynn far earlier than has been previously reported.
That’s right – the President of the United States knew Michael Flynn was under investigation for accepting payments from a foreign entity since January 4, but he still thought it was appropriate to put him in a position that gave him access to the nation’s most highly classified intelligence.
The President of the United States was clearly hellbent on keeping Flynn by his side, though – despite his lies, despite his connections to and possible blackmailing by Russia, and despite being under investigation for foreign payments – only until information surfaced in the media.
This news comes not long after it was revealed that former acting attorney general, Sally Yates, had warned the administration just days after taking office that Flynn was “compromised with respect to the Russians.”
In that case, too, the president showed no urgency to get rid of Flynn or deny him access to the top secret intelligence.
While the latest Times report is stunning in its own right, it’s one of many that show how this president has little concern about safeguarding classified intelligence. After all, Trump just spilled highly sensitive intel in a secret meeting with the Russians just a few days ago.
The one question that remains is just how much longer those in Congress – and the American people – will allow this man to jeopardize America’s national security.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.