President-elect's pick for national security adviser mishandled classified information
Donald Trump's national security adviser pick, Michael Flynn, “inappropriately shared” classified information with foreign military officials in Afghanistan. That's according to a military report the Washington Post obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
The Post reports that newly released Army documents revealed that in 2010, Gen. Flynn "lacked authorization to share the classified material" but did so anyways. Gen. Flynn wasn't disciplined or reprimanded for his actions, as the military report found that he did not act "knowingly," and he didn't cause any damage.
This is the first time the public has had any official information on the investigation. The Post says that in the past Gen. Flynn has admitted the case existed, but dismissed its importance.
The Post admits the scope is limited, as the case is classified. The newspaper does report, though, that its sources familiar with the investigation say Gen. Flynn was accused of spilling the details of other U.S. agencies working in Afghanistan to the allies.
Before this revelation, the retired general's new appointment was already shrouded in controversy. Gen. Flynn has been criticized for believing and sharing bizarre conspiracy theories and fake news, according to CNN. The New Yorker reports his contested and false theories even garnered their own nickname by his staff: "Flynn Facts."
The release of the documents also comes in stark contrast to Gen. Flynn's scathing remarks against the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, as he pounded the campaign trail for Donald Trump. "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 back in July, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Flynn was outspoken in his criticism of Clinton for mishandling classified material in the now infamous email scandal that's been investigated by the FBI.
The FBI never charged Clinton for using a private email server while serving as secretary of state.
Gen. Flynn's sharing of sensitive information is not limited to this one incident. The Chicago Tribune reports that the newly released investigation was the general's second offense in a year. They report the general also shared sensitive information at the end of 2009 or early 2010 to Pakistani officials. The intelligence concerned capabilities to monitor an insurgent group that was accused of attacking U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The Chicago Tribune reports Gen. Flynn was verbally reprimanded for the incident after a CIA officer who accompanied him to the meeting reported it to the Department of Defense.
The three-star general was tapped for the position of national security adviser by the Trump camp in November. If given the position, Gen. Flynn will assist president-elect Donald Trump in navigating the complex web of national and international security issues — something Trump has no experience combating.
Gen. Flynn, despite the controversy, has extensive experience in the field as he's helped dismantle insurgent networks in Afghanistan and served as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency — according to the Chicago Tribune.