Trump team did background check on Flynn, knew of Turkey ties: report

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The White House and President Trump’s transition team reportedly did a background check on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in addition to his already approved security clearance, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported Friday evening.

“NBC News has learned from sources close to the Trump-Russia investigation that both the Trump transition and the White House did do a background check on Flynn,” Maddow said on her program, citing reporting from NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

“This is in addition to his already approved security clearance. They did a background check on Flynn specifically for him to become national security adviser.”

Trump and other White House officials have blamed former President Barack Obama for authorizing Flynn’s security clearance. Flynn served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under Obama before advising Trump’s campaign and joining his administration. 


Maddow said Friday that NBC reporting showed that “the vetting of Flynn was done and sources close to the investigation tell NBC that it was done ‘very casually.'”

“One person involved tells NBC that the Trump transition was aware of Flynn’s business ties to Turkey,” she said.

Flynn, who was forced out of Trump’s White House after misleading officials about his conversation with Russia’s ambassador about sanctions, received a five-year renewal of his security clearance in January 2016.

A former Obama aide hit back Friday at attempts by Trump officials to blame the previous administration.

“The responsibility in vetting [Flynn] belongs on the incoming administration,” former Obama communications director Jen Psaki said on CNN. “Clearly that wasn’t done. So this is kind of an absurd blame game here.”

The House Oversight Committee said earlier this week that Flynn may have broken the law by taking payments from Russia and Turkey without approval from the military and State Department. He had reportedly been previously warned against taking such payments.

According to Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, Flynn applied to renew his security clearance — using a Form SF-86 — in January 2016, a month after he traveled to Moscow to give a paid speech. 

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