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Michael Flynn checked by Trump’s team in addition to Obama administration

US President Donald Trump (R) and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn (File photo)

America's ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn had reportedly been checked by the transition team of President Donald Trump in addition to his already approved security clearance by the administration of former president Barack Obama.

Flynn, who was taking a high profile role in Trump’s campaign, went to the White House as the president’s first national security adviser, but lasted only 24 days in the job. Trump fired him in February for failing to disclose his meeting with the Russian ambassador and misleading Vice President Mike Pence.

Trying to blame Obama for the controversy around his former national security adviser, Trump said in an interview on Friday that when Flynn “came into our administration… he was already approved by the Obama administration and he had years left on that approval."

Flynn served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under Obama before advising Trump's campaign and joining his administration. 

Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, NBC News reported that “both the Trump transition and the White House did do a background check on Flynn."

“This is in addition to his already approved security clearance,” said an MSNBC reporter on Friday. “They did a background check on Flynn specifically for him to become national security adviser."  

“One person involved tells NBC that the Trump transition was aware of Flynn's business ties to Turkey," the reporter added.

Former Obama communications director Jen Psaki hit back at attempts to blame the former administration.

“The responsibility in vetting [Flynn] belongs on the incoming administration,” he told CNN on Friday. "Clearly that wasn’t done. So this is kind of an absurd blame game here.”

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (C) attends  a joint press conference. (AFP file photo)

Flynn was paid $530,000 for working on behalf of a company owned by Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin at the same time he was advising Trump's presidential campaign. Alptekin denied having any ties to the Turkish  government

Flynn voluntarily filed documents with the Justice Department in March, admitting that he had been working last year as a foreign agent representing the interests of the Turkish government in a dispute with the US.

Soon after the registration, White House officials acknowledged that Trump’s transition team was informed, for two times before and after the inauguration, that Flynn might need to register with the government as a foreign agent. 

Under a law in the United States, US citizens, who lobby on behalf of foreign governments or political entities must disclose their work to the Justice Department. Failing to register is considered a crime, but the department rarely files criminal charges in such cases.  

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