U.S.

Flynn Was Former Obama Official, White House Lawyer Says After Indictment

Donald Trump, Michael Flynn
President-elect Donald Trump with national security adviser Michael Flynn at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on December 21, 2016. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Well, it looks like the indictment of Michael Flynn all stems back to former President Barack Obama, according to Donald Trump's White House. 

Flynn—who was a prominent surrogate during President Donald Trump's campaign, worked on Trump's transition team and served as Trump's national security adviser—was a "former Obama administration official," the White House's lawyer said in a statement. 

After news broke Friday that Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador during the 2016 campaign and is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, White House lawyer Ty Cobb released a statement attempting to distance the administration from Flynn.

The statement refers to Flynn as a "former Obama administration official" who worked at Trump's White House for 25 days. Cobb says Flynn's lies "mirror the false statements to White House officials," which led to his resignation in February. 

Cobb says the indictment and guilty plea and do not implicate anyone other than Flynn. 

What the statement doesn't say is that President Barack Obama reportedly warned Trump not to hire Flynn in a meeting they had just after Trump won the election. 

It also doesn't say that Flynn was reportedly forced out of his job as Obama's director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. 

"Obama and his staff felt Flynn was problematic and prone to what they thought of as crazy ideas, and had fired him from his job as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Obama relayed that to Trump during the 90 minutes they spent together," Politico reported in May. 

Flynn served as Trump's national security adviser up until February, after Vice President Mike Pence defended Flynn in an interview, saying Flynn never had contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak because Flynn had assured him of this. 

Trump asked for Flynn to resign shortly after this interview, claiming that Flynn was untruthful. 

The guilty plea news on Friday showed that Flynn did speak with Kislyak on several occasions. 

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