According to a secret military investigation from 2010, Donald Trump‘s pick for national security adviser “inappropriately shared” classified material regarding U.S. operations in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reports.
The investigation concluded that now-retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn shared classified information “without authorization,” but his actions did not pose any “actual or potential damage to national security as a result.” The revelations bring up new questions about Flynn, who’s come under wide-ranging criticism regarding his penchant for sharing fake news links and conspiracy theories, along with his offensive comments about Muslims.
The four-page summary of the investigation, obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that a Navy intelligence specialist reported that Flynn (who was serving as head of U.S. military intelligence in Afghanistan at the time) had inappropriately, although unknowingly, shared information with “various foreign military officers and/or officials in Afghanistan.”
Late this summer, Flynn justified his actions by saying that the information was shared with the British and the Australians, both of whom are allies.
“The investigation on me was for sharing intelligence with the Brits and Australians in combat, and I’m proud of that one,” he told the Post in August. “That was substantiated because actually I did it. But I did it with the right permissions when you dig into the investigation.
Flynn dismissed the investigation as normal government procedure.
From The Hill:
Flynn has also been accused of disclosing sensitive U.S. intelligence powers to the government of Pakistan, but there appears not to have been a formal investigation into the incident. Instead, he was reportedly verbally scolded by James Clapper, then the military’s chief intelligence official. Clapper is currently the outgoing director of national intelligence.
Throughout the presidential campaign, Trump slammed Hillary Clinton for the alleged security risks her private email server posed. Even though a year-long FBI investigation failed to find any criminal wrongdoing, the email narrative continued at a fever-pitch with Trump even threatening to appoint a “special prosecutor” to continue to investigate Clinton in the event that he won the presidency. Trump later walked back his threats in subsequent interviews.
Flynn has repeatedly attacked Clinton over the email server issue as well. At the Republican National Convention this summer he said, “…if I did a tenth — a tenth — of what [Hillary Clinton] did, I would be in jail today.”
At the convention, Flynn led the audience in chants of “Lock her up!”
Featured image via YouTube