On the campaign trail, Donald Trump said he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to transmit classified information while she was Secretary of State. During this time, Trump helped to popularize the “lock her up” chant.
Retired Army Gen. Michael T. Flynn — Trump’s nominee for national security adviser — condemned Clinton’s “careless use of a private e-mail server” and said there was “nothing wrong” with those chants.
“We’re saying that because 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 said at the Republican National Convention in July, while encouraging supporters to continue chanting. “So — so, Crooked Hillary Clinton, leave this race now!”
But Flynn himself “inappropriately shared” classified information with foreign military officers and officials in Afghanistan in 2010, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. The publication revealed that Flynn was not authorized to share the classified information and “particular secrets he divulged.”
Army records obtained by the publication under the Freedom of Information Act found that “there was no actual or potential damage to national security as a result” of his sharing.
Flynn has dismissed the investigation as insignificant, yet “former U.S. officials familiar with the matter said that Flynn was accused of telling allies about the activities of other agencies in Afghanistan, including the CIA,” the Washington Post reported. The information shared included slides and materials about CIA operations in Afghanistan. The U.S. military does share intelligence with NATO allies, but he did not follow the established channels to share information.
Flynn’s harsh call for Clinton to be locked up for sharing information over a private e-mail server at home may hit close to home, however. A New Yorker profile by Dana Priest pointed out Flynn “had technicians secretly install an Internet connection in his Pentagon office, even though it was forbidden.” Flynn also “broke rules he thought were stupid. He once told [Priest] about a period he spent assigned to a C.I.A. station in Iraq, when he would sometimes sneak out of the compound without the ‘insane’ required approval from C.I.A. headquarters, in Langley, Virginia.”
Trump himself has publicly talked about classified intelligence briefings. At a Commander-in-Chief forum in September, Trump claimed that briefing officials did not like President Barack Obama’s “handling of foreign policy,” The Hill reported.