At just 24 days, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn had the shortest tenure as White House National Security Adviser of anyone to ever hold that post. Now the question is why he got to remain in the job as long as he did.
On Monday, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates told Congress that, just days into the Trump presidency, she warned the White House that Flynn had lied to conceal private meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. These untruths, she warned, could potentially open the National Security Adviser up to blackmail by the Russian government.
The Trump administration fired Yates not long after, when she declined to enforce the president’s Muslim ban, believing it to be unlawful. But Flynn lingered in the administration for two more weeks, before finally being pushed out.
Needless to say, reporters are curious as to why Flynn was allowed to remain in a top national security role even after the Justice Department warned he had been compromised by the Russian government. And just as needless to say, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is refusing to answer any queries regarding whatever he was up to during that time.
You can watch Spicer stumble around a question from his Tuesday briefing below:
“We’re not going to relitigate the past on this,” said Spicer. “I think we’ve been very clear as to what happened and why it happened. I think the president made the right decision, and we’ve moved on.”
Later in the same briefing, Spicer was asked whether the White House placed Flynn under any additional restrictions between Yates’ warning and his eventual ouster. His answer: “I’m not aware of any.”
Q: Did the White House put any restrictions on Mike Flynn, or restrict his access in any way?
A: "I'm not aware of any." pic.twitter.com/VtT6tfMdST
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) May 9, 2017