Trump Transition Team Copied CLASSIFIED CIA Documents About Russian Ambassador (DETAILS) | THE POLITICUS

Trump Transition Team Copied CLASSIFIED CIA Documents About Russian Ambassador (DETAILS)

The reports something rather distressing: the Trump transition team mishandled classified information so badly that President Obama was forced to limit their access to it.

According to the report, an unnamed member of Team Trump made an unusual request of the Obama White House’s security team: a copy of the classified CIA profile of a man with whom numerous members of the transition team secretly met, Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Now, the first thing running through your mind is probably “which member?” If you guessed Michael Flynn, you’re only wrong because he sent someone to do his bidding:

Marshall Billingslea, a former Pentagon and NATO official, wanted the information for his boss, Michael Flynn, who had been tapped by Trump to serve as White House national security adviser. Billingslea knew Flynn would be speaking to Kislyak, according to two former Obama administration officials, and seemed concerned Flynn did not fully understand he was dealing with a man rumored to have ties to Russian intelligence agencies.

To the Obama White House, Billingslea’s concerns were startling: a member of Trump’s own team suggesting the incoming Trump administration might be in over its head in dealing with an adversary.

The request now stands out as a warning signal for Obama officials who would soon see Flynn’s contacts with the Russian spiral into a controversy that would cost him his job and lead to a series of shocking accusations hurled by Trump against his predecessor’s administration.

Over the following few weeks, the Obama administration became concerned as more and more information about Trump’s team and Russia became known. Ultimately, the administration chose not to withhold information from Trump’s team over their gross mishandling (at minimum) of classified misinformation, but they did take precautions:

The outgoing White House also became concerned about the Trump team’s handling of classified information. After learning that highly sensitive documents from a secure room at the transition’s Washington headquarters were being copied and removed from the facility, Obama’s national security team decided to only allow the transition officials to view some information at the White House, including documents on the government’s contingency plans for crises.

Some White House advisers now privately concede that the administration moved too slowly during the election to publicly blame Russia for the hack and explore possible ties to the Trump campaign. Others say it was only after the election, once Obama ordered a comprehensive review of the election interference, that the full scope of Russia’s interference and potential Trump ties become clearer.

Recently, Flynn begged for immunity in exchange for his testimony with regard to Team Trump’s Russia connections. He .

Naturally, Americans find this news a teensy bit upsetting:

At least they didn’t use a private email server, though, right? Oh…


Featured image via Getty Images (Win McNamera)

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