(CN) – President Donald Trump on Monday tried to distance himself from the controversy swirling around his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, but appears only to have started a dust up with former members of the Obama administration.
“General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration – but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that,” Trump tweeted shortly after 8 a.m. Monday morning, right after tweeting his congratulations to pro golfer John Daly on his win at the Insperity Invitational on Sunday.
But by noon a number of former Obama administration official had weighed in, telling various media organizations, including the Associated Press, that former President Barack Obama warned Donald Trump against hiring Michael Flynn as national security adviser in the days after the 2016 election.
The warning came during an Oval Office meeting between Obama and Trump after the Republican’s victory. Flynn had been fired by the Obama administration as the head of the military’s intelligence branch.
But Trump went ahead and named Flynn national security advisor anyway, only to have to fire him a month later.
The White House said Flynn was fired for misleading top officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.
On Monday afternoon, White House spokesman Sean Spicer defended his boss, saying the Obama administration grew disenchanted with Flynn, who was then defense intelligence chief, because he became an outspoken critic of the then-president and his “lack of strategies.”
Spicer declined to discuss the matter further, saying it would be wrong for him to disclose details of the post-election meeting between the Trump and Obama.