Image Credit: Gary Cameron/Reuters
According to the Washington Post, Michael T Flynn, the National Security Advisor to President-Elect Donald Trump, was investigated in 2010 while he was the U.S. military intelligence chief in Afghanistan.
According to records obtained by the Post through a freedom of information request, Flynn was found to have shared information about covert U.S. activities in Afghanistan with British and Australian allies, despite not having the clearance to do so. He was not disciplined after it was determined that he did not act knowingly, and because there was no actual or potential damage to national security.
The revelation of the investigation comes after a presidential campaign where Flynn repeatedly called for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race for mishandling classified information by having a private email server while she was serving as Secretary of State.
At the Republican National Convention, Flynn said, “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.”
Flynn did not respond to requests from the Post for a comment, nor did members of the Trump transition team.
This wasn’t the first time that Flynn has been investigated for mishandling classified material, as in 2009 he allegedly shared information with Afghanistan about the U.S. ability to monitor the Haqqani network. That incident resulted in a verbal reprimand from James R. Clapper Jr., who at the time was the Pentagon’s top intelligence officer.
The initial investigation would have been ordered by General James Mattias, who Trump has tapped to serve as Secretary of Defense, meaning that Mattias and Flynn will be working very closely with each other in the Trump white house.