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Trump's National Security Advisor Mishandled Classified Information in Afghanistan

Army documents show that Michael T. Flynn shared military intel with foreign officials without authorization while he served as US military intelligence chief.

by Lauren Messman
Dec 14 2016, 3:16pm

Retired United States Army lieutenant general Michael T. Flynn stands in an the elevator at Trump Tower in New York City. Photo by Rex Features via AP Images

Trump's pick for national security advisor, Michael T. Flynn, shared classified military intelligence to foreign powers without the proper clearance, the Washington Post reports.

According to official Army documents obtained by the Post, Flynn shared the information with foreign officials while he was serving as US military intelligence chief in Afghanistan. A military investigation was launched in 2010 after a Navy intelligence specialist complained that Flynn had "inappropriately" shared the information.

That investigation found that Flynn was not authorized to share the info, but also concluded that there was "no actual or potential damage to national security as a result" and that he did not do so "knowingly."

Flynn has brushed off the investigation before, telling the Post in August that he gave information to our "closest allies" Britain and Australia with the "right permissions." The report, however, discovered that he did not have the right clearance, and does not say who Flynn gave the information to or what it regards. Former US officials close to the investigation told the Post that Flynn was accused of talking about CIA activities in Afghanistan, among other agencies' activities.

According to the former officials, Flynn also shared information with Pakistan about the ways the US was monitoring the Haqqani insurgent network in late 2009 or early 2010. A CIA official who had accompanied Flynn to the meeting notified CIA headquarters, and Flynn was reportedly scolded by James R. Clapper Jr., the head of the Pentagon at the time.

Despite his own history of mishandling sensitive information, Flynn often brought up Hillary Clinton's email scandal while campaigning with Donald Trump. At the RNC in July, he blasted Clinton's use of a private email server, saying she should drop out of the race for putting "our nation's security at extremely high risk."

"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 in Cleveland before joining in on "lock her up!" chants.

Hillary Clinton
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middle east
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Michael Flynn
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