Earlier this week, NBC News reported that President Donald Trump in an interview last Friday tried to turn some of the controversy around his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, on the administration of President Barack Obama, saying the retired general was previously vetted. Trump Tries to Deflect Flynn Vetting Questions on Obama Administration:
“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,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum.
“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,” Trump said.
The implication is that the Trump transition team did not have to vet Flynn. But they did:
While Flynn served in the Obama administration — Flynn was fired by President Obama from his postion at DIA for clashing with other high-ranking officials and “Flynn facts” — the Trump transition team and White House had an additional responsibility to do a separate background check, which is always done for people at that level.
The Trump team did do a background check and learned about Flynn’s business ties with Turkey, but Flynn was appointed anyway, people close to the investigation have told NBC News.