Former President Barack Obama warned Donald Trump in their first conversation not to hire Michael Flynn, the national security adviser who would leave Trump’s administration in disgrace, according to a report.
Former Obama officials told NBC News Obama warned Trump about Flynn less than 48 hours after the election ended, when the two met for the first time in the Oval Office. The Obama administration fired Flynn in 2014 as the Defense Intelligence Agency leader for mismanagement and temperament problems.
Trump went against the warning and hired Flynn anyway, only to see the retired Army general resign within 24 days after reports that he misled White House officials about a talk with a Russian ambassador.
Trump’s former acting U.S. attorney general, Sally Yates, is expected to testify about Flynn before a Senate committee on Monday.
The White House immediately fired back at the report, blaming Obama for hiring Flynn in the first place and allowing him to keep his security clearance even after his ouster.
“Obama made the President aware he was not a fan of Michael Flynn,” a White House statement said, noting that Flynn had publicly criticized Obama.
“It is worth noting that Flynn previously served in the Obama administration,” the statement said.
Trump tweeted an identical message Monday morning before the report, writing, “General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration – but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that.”