National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was forced to step down because of “illegal leaks” by government workers, President Trump declared Tuesday morning.
According to DailyMail.com, a Trump administration aide also blamed Flynn’s downfall on the public employees. “No one expected the enemy within would be so shameless. It’s disgusting, especially coming from inside the intelligence community,” the anonymous source said.
The leaked information revealed that the national security adviser lied to Vice President Mike Pence and others when he denied having met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December, while Barack Obama was still president. Flynn has admitted he gave a “misleading” account of his activities.
“The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?” Trump asked on Twitter. “Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?” The president did not indicate whether those responsible for the leaks will face criminal charges. The number of government workers prosecuted for releasing sensitive information soared to a record high during the Obama administration. His Justice Department, citing the Espionage Act, filed charges against more public employees than all previous administrations combined.
One of the topics Flynn and Kislyak reportedly addressed was Obama’s policies regarding Russia. He had just slapped more financial sanctions on the longtime U.S. adversary, and kicked 35 Russian diplomats out of the nation’s capital. According to MailOnline, Flynn and the ambassador had an understanding that Trump would be friendlier to Russia.
Vladimir Putin is still fuming about U.S. intelligence agencies’ allegations that he tried to help Trump win last year’s election by ordering the email hacking of Democratic Party officials. The Russian leader denies the charge, which Trump also was reluctant to accept.
CNN reported that Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, will head an investigation of the Flynn-related leaks. The congressman said he will not look into whether, and when, Trump was aware of what his national security adviser had done.