White House confirms Obama warning on Flynn: He wasn't a 'fan'

Former President Barack Obama made it clear to President Trump that “he wasn’t exactly a fan” of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn, White House press secretary Sean Spicer acknowledged Monday.

But Spicer said Trump chalked up the statement to different views and partisan politics because of Flynn’s criticism of Obama’s "lack of strategy" on counterterrorism. 


The spokesman’s comments confirm multiple media reports detailing Obama’s advice offered privately to Trump in the Oval Office after the 2016 election.

Flynn was fired in February after just 24 days on the job after it was revealed he misled senior administration officials about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. 

Spicer argued that if Obama had really been worried about Flynn, his administration would have suspended his security clearance.
The retired Army lieutenant general served as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency until spring 2014, when Obama fired him amid disagreements with members of his national security brass. But his clearance was reissued in 2016, according to Trump’s team. 
Spicer said that Trump officials used the Obama administration's approval of Flynn’s security clearance in hiring him.

“The question that you have to ask yourself really is if President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMissed paperwork deadline delaying Biden nomination for FDA: report Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future No time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump MORE was truly concerned about Gen. Flynn, why didn’t he suspend Gen. Flynn’s security clearance?” he said. 

Spicer would not say whether Obama raised specific concerns over Trump’s choice of Flynn to serve as his national security adviser. But the spokesman said “there were steps they could have taken if they were truly concerned,” instead the former president’s advice being a result of “bad blood.”
The latest revelations raise questions about how much independent vetting Trump transition officials did before the then-president-elect tapped Flynn as his national security adviser. 
Flynn has continued to cause headaches for the White House, which is seeking to move past swirling questions about whether Trump associates cooperated with Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election. 
The revelation of Obama’s warning came just hours before former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was expected to testify before Congress.
Flynn is also facing a Pentagon investigation into foreign payments he received in 2015. Some lawmakers have accused Flynn of breaking the law by taking money from Russia and Turkey without getting approval from the State Department. 
The retired general made his way into Trump’s inner circle during the campaign; both men shared similar views about the threat posed by Islamic extremists. 
Flynn served as a frequent campaign-trail surrogate and delivered a fiery speech in support of Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention.