President Obama knew all about then-incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn’s intercepted December 2016 phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Newly released documents show that then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates was very surprised. She was counter-intel and didn’t know but the outgoing president did?
Obama’s unexpectedly intimate knowledge of the details of Flynn’s calls, which the FBI acknowledged at the time was allegedly not criminal or even improper. However, they weren’t supposed to unmask General Flynn and top FBI officials secretly discussed whether their goal was to “get [Flynn] fired” when they interviewed him in the White House on January 24, 2017.
Obama warned the Trump administration against hiring Flynn and made clear he was “not a fan,” according to multiple officials.
Obama had fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014; Obama cited insubordination, while Flynn asserted he was pushed out for his aggressive stance on combating Islamic extremism.
On January 5, 2017, Yates attended an Oval Office meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey, then-Vice President Joe Biden, then-CIA Director John Brennan, and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, according to the newly declassified documents, including an FD-302 FBI witness report.
They were discussing Russian election interference, along with national security adviser Susan Rice and other members of the national security council.
After the briefing, Obama asked Yates and Comey to “stay behind,” and said he had “learned of the information about Flynn” and his conversation with Russia’s ambassador about sanctions. Obama “specified that he did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information.” [Plausible deniability?]
Yates didn’t even know what he was talking about but figured it out as they spoke. Comey then mentioned The Logan Act. She didn’t remember Comey’s response to the President’s question about how to treat Flynn.
Did Obama know or direct this operation? It’s absurd for anyone to think he wasn’t fully involved. Comey would not frame Flynn on his own in all likelihood. There are other indications Obama was involved in the Flynn operation.