They knew he was potentially vulnerable to Russia, but they kept feeding him CIA secrets.
A new report from the New York Times suggests that even as former national security adviser Michael Flynn was under scrutiny, the fount of information he was exposed to kept flowing.
At the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — agencies responsible for keeping American secrets safe from foreign spies — career officials agreed that Mr. Flynn represented an urgent problem.
Yet nearly every day for three weeks, the new C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, sat in the Oval Office and briefed President Trump on the nation’s most sensitive intelligence — with Mr. Flynn listening. Mr. Pompeo has not said whether C.I.A. officials left him in the dark about their views of Mr. Flynn, but one administration official said Mr. Pompeo did not share any concerns about Mr. Flynn with the president.
Flynn was forced from his position as national security adviser before he had served a full month. His failure to fully disclose information on conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, and then misleading Vice President Pence about it was his undoing.
I’ve said before that if anybody is pinched from this entire Russian probe, it is likely to be Flynn.
Time and again, the Trump administration looked the other way in the face of warning signs about Mr. Flynn. Mr. Trump entrusted him with the nation’s secrets despite knowing that he faced a Justice Department investigation over his undisclosed foreign lobbying. Even a personal warning from President Obama did not dissuade him.
And quite a bit of that can be attributed to Trump’s hubris, combined with inexperience. Not a great combo.
Pompeo testified last month in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but avoided directly answering many of the panel’s questions, saying he was unable to answer “yes” or “no” to their questions regarding if he knew there were concerns about Flynn.
After Mr. Pompeo’s Senate testimony, The New York Times asked officials at several agencies whether Mr. Pompeo had raised concerns about Mr. Flynn to the president and, if so, whether the president had ignored him. One administration official responded on the condition of anonymity that Mr. Pompeo, whether he knew of the concerns or not, had not told the president about them.
When asked during last month’s hearings why he continued to share potentially sensitive information with Flynn present, even though he was under scrutiny, Pompeo simply answered, “He was the national security adviser.”
Well, that was one answer, but it may not be the answer the nation needs, given the circumstances.