In late November, a member of Donald Trump’s transition team approached national security officials in the Obama White House with a curious request: Could the incoming team get a copy of the classified CIA profile on Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States?
Marshall Billingslea, a former Pentagon and NATO official, wanted the information for his boss, Michael Flynn, who had been tapped by Trump to serve as White House national security adviser. Billingslea knew Flynn would be speaking to Kislyak, according to two former Obama administration officials, and seemed concerned Flynn did not fully understand he was dealing with a man rumored to have ties to Russian intelligence agencies.
To the Obama White House, Billingslea’s concerns were startling: a member of Trump’s own team suggesting the incoming Trump administration might be in over its head in dealing with an adversary.
In the following weeks, the Obama White House would grow deeply distrustful of Trump’s dealing with the Kremlin and anxious about his team’s ties. The concern — compounded by surge of new intelligence, including evidence of multiple calls, texts and at least one in-person meeting between Flynn and Kislyak — would eventually grow so great Obama advisers delayed telling Trump’s team about plans to punish Russia for its election meddling. Obama officials worried the incoming administration might tip off Moscow, according to one Obama adviser.
Can you imagine having to hand over the keys of power to a group of people who you fear might be working with a foreign government to undermine your country?
And from just about everything that we have learned since those fears were not unfounded.
Which is why President Obama warned Trump not to choose Flynn as his National Security Adviser:
Former President Obama warned President Donald Trump against hiring Mike Flynn as his national security adviser, three former Obama administration officials tell NBC News.
The warning, which has not been previously reported, came less than 48 hours after the November election when the two sat down for a 90-minute conversation in the Oval Office.
A senior Trump administration official acknowledged Monday that Obama raised the issue of Flynn, saying the former president made clear he was "not a fan of Michael Flynn." Another official said Obama's remark seemed like it was made in jest.
Yes, because the former President was known to make jokes about national security.
It seems to me that Trump had plenty of information to keep him from allowing Flynn to gain access to confidential information, and he did nothing to stop it.
So the question to ask is why was Trump not bothered by the possibility that Flynn had been compromised?
I kind of think we already know the answer.