In a tweet late Thursday morning, President Donald Trump implored Sen. Lindsey Graham to call former President Barack Obama, to the stand to testify about Michael Flynn, a former White House national security adviser.
The Flynn case is back in the spotlight and the Trump administration has railed against 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and Obama about their connection to the redacted intelligence documents from the 2017 Russia investigation.
Trump Thursday said Graham should call the former president to the stand to explain his role in one of “the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR.” He further states in the tweet that Obama “knew everything.”
Graham on Thursday in an interview with “Fox & Friends” questioned the intent of Obama administration officials involved in the unmasking of Flynn, stating that it should have been done with clear national security reasons.
“Here is the concern: If you don’t have a national security reason, you’re basically spying on a political opponent,” the South Carolina Republican said on the news show.
“What is the national security reason to unmask Gen. Flynn in transition? I can’t think of one. But, I do believe, given their behavior, they’re looking to get rid of Flynn and if they used our intelligence apparatus to basically act on a political vendetta, that’s chilling to every American and would be very wrong.”
Obama has not commented as of Thursday morning. However, Biden on Wednesday told “Good Morning America,” he was briefed about the Flynn case but has no connection to it.
“I thought you asked me whether or not I had anything to do with him being prosecuted,” Biden explained. “I’m sorry. ... I was aware that there was — that they asked for an investigation, but that’s all I know about it, and I don’t think anything else.”
Biden is included in a list distributed Monday of officials who were identified to to Congress as participating in a declassified “unmasking” of Flynn between late 2016 and January 2017.
The list also includes then-FBI Director James Comey, then-CIA Director John Brennan, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Obama's then-chief of staff Denis McDonough.
On Monday, nearly 2,000 former Justice Department officials signed a letter calling for the attorney general to resign over what they describe as his improper intervention in the criminal case against Flynn.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with then-Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. Those calls were picked up by surveillance and later leaked to the press.
Graham in the Fox News interview Thursday supported the theory, dubbed “Obamagate,” that top Obama administration officials “hated" Flynn and used the declassified move as a way to discredit him and potentially prevent him from becoming Trump's national security adviser.
“Was this an effort to undermine Flynn or to undermine national security? I talk to foreign leaders all the time about my differences with Obama's foreign policy," Graham said Thursday.
Obama and Trump go toe-to-toe on Flynn case
Last week, Obama told a large gathering of alumni from his administration that DOJ’s decision to drop the Flynn case put the “rule of law at risk.” He also criticized the Trump White House’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, calling the response “an absolute chaotic disaster.”
Trump in his Monday press briefing answered questions about tweets that suggested the former president had committed crimes while in office. Asked what crimes the former president had committed, Trump avoided any specifics.
“Obamagate!” Trump exclaimed, repeating the trending hashtag. “It’s been going on for a long time. Some terrible things happened. And you’ll be seeing what’s going on over the coming weeks.”
Trump’s own administration acknowledged on Wednesday that Obama advisers followed proper procedures in privately “unmasking” Flynn’s name, which was redacted in the intelligence reports for privacy reasons
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