General Michael Flynn, Donald Trump new national security adviser, has certainly created a mess for himself considering he’s only been on the job for three weeks. Of course, he broke federal law before he even got started.
On Saturday, Robin Townley, who was appointed by Flynn as the NSC’s senior director for Africa, was denied security clearance by the CIA.
ABC News reports that a senior administration official confirmed the story.
‘The move will prevent Townley from being able to serve in the NSC post. Townley currently maintains an active top secret security clearance, but it was his request was for “Sensitive Compartmented Information” clearance that was rejected, the source says. The post is one of nearly two dozen senior director positions on the NSC tailored to a specific focus or geographical area; many of those positions currently remain vacant with no announced appointees.’
The official who confirmed the story says that bad blood exists between Flynn and the CIA and cited that rift as the cause for the denial as well as Townley’s having “run afoul” of people within the CIA who are looking to retaliate against both men. A second U.S. official insists that this explanation is absurd.
‘The notion that a federal agency would intentionally deny a security clearance to someone simply because they are friends with Mike Flynn is absolute nonsense.’
Flynn has been accused in the past of being the source of the enmity between President Trump and the intelligence community. The current Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, investigated and ousted Flynn from his position as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon in 2014.
General Flynn has also publicly criticized the intelligence community, and the CIA in particular, of being “too political in the fight against terrorism.” Flynn is controversial and well-known for his extremist stance on Islam, having once called the religion of 1.6 billion people across the world a “vicious cancer” that “needs to be excised.”
The reasons for denying security clearance to Townley may not be clear, but one thing is becoming more apparent by the day: it’s going to be a rough four years for the new GOP president.
For more on General Michael Flynn and the terrible, awful week he’s had, see video below: