Ok, this is probably not good.
Is it on the same level of bad as Hillary Clinton’s private email servers?
No, let’s not get crazy. It’s just not good.
Retired Army Lt. General Michael Flynn, President-elect Trump’s choice to serve as national security adviser, was found by the military to have “improperly shared” classified information with allies in Afghanistan. At the time, he was serving as the U.S. military intelligence chief.
The investigation had been ordered by General James Mattis, the same former general Trump has named as his pick for defense secretary.
It all went down in 2010, and while there was said to be no damage to national security, Flynn wasn’t authorized to share the information.
As a result, Flynn was verbally reprimanded by James Clapper, who was an intelligence official at the Pentagon at the time and went on to become the director of national intelligence. Clapper later endorsed Flynn to succeed him as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
While it’s not known what was in the intelligence shared, an anonymous former senior U.S. intelligence official has said that the documents included things that they shouldn’t have, considering it was material that rated much higher classification.
Flynn has acknowledged the investigation.
“That was substantiated because I actually did it. But I did it with the right permissions when you dig into that investigation. I’m proud of that one. Accuse me of sharing intelligence in combat with our closest allies, please,” he told the Post in August.
According to the report, Flynn did not have the permission he said he did when telling foreign allies about the activities of American agencies operating in Afghanistan, including the Central Intelligence Agency.
Flynn was one of many who criticized Hillary Clinton during the campaign for mishandling classified information. During his speech before the Republican National Convention in July, Flynn led the crowd through chants of “lock her up,” adding “If I, a guy who knows this business, if I did a tenth, a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail today.”
Part of what he was accused of revealing is information to Pakistani military officials on U.S. intelligence capabilities in watching insurgent groups.
Let’s hope the subsequent reprimands were enough to rein in any tendencies to be haphazard with sensitive information in his future role.