A new report Friday evening claims the Trump transition team and White House did vet Mike Flynn before serving as national security adviser, contrary to what the Trump administration has said.
Sources told NBC News that with Flynn the process was performed “done very casually,” Rachel Maddow announced on her evening MSNBC program. One source said the Trump transition team was even aware of Flynn’s business ties to Turkey.
Flynn registered retroactively as a foreign agent in February and disclosed that he was paid by a Dutch company to represent Turkish interests. Previously that same month, Flynn was fired from the White House after it was revealed his misled Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with a Russian envoy.
“They became aware of that shortly after he wrote that Election Day column about the Turkish government and its interests,” Maddow said on her show. “That of course should have raised red flags, but they hired him anyway. They knew. And they hired him anyway and then after they fired him they said ‘oh, no, we had no idea.’ Why would they lie about that?”
On Thursday, it was revealed that the Pentagon is conducting an investigation into undisclosed speaking engagements for which Flynn, a former Army general, was paid by Russia’s state-sponsored TV network, without receiving permission from Congress.
Members of Trump’s administration, including White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Trump himself, have denied they vetted Flynn. Trump blamed his predecessor, former President Barack Obama for not properly vetting Flynn, who served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014.
“Just remember,” Trump told anchor Martha MacCallum of Fox News on Friday, “he was approved by the Obama administration at the highest level. And when they say we didn’t vet, well Obama I guess didn’t vet, because he was approved at the highest level of security by the Obama administration. So when he came into our administration, for a short period of time, he came in, he was already approved by the Obama administration and he had years left on that approval.”
This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner