Former President Barack Obama warned then-President-elect Donald Trump not to give the post of national security adviser in his administration to Michael Flynn, who was eventually fired in a controversy about ties to Russia, a former Obama aide said.
Obama gave the warning in an Oval Office meeting with Trump just days after the Republican’s surprise election win last Nov. 8. The warning, first reported by NBC News, came up during a discussion of White House personnel.
The nature of Obama’s misgivings about Flynn were not clear.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Flynn has emerged as a central figure in probes into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.
A former U.S. deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, is expected to tell a Senate Judiciary subcommittee later Monday that she had warned the White House after Trump took office that Flynn had not told the truth about conversations he had held with the Russian ambassador to Washington.
President Trump fired Flynn, a retired general, in February for failing to disclose talks with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak about U.S. sanctions on Moscow and then misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.
On Monday morning, Trump tweeted, “General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration — but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that.”
Several hours later, he tweeted, “Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel.”