Cummings: It Would Be ‘Appropriate’ To Revoke Flynn’s Security Clearance

Ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) listens on. Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform met to consider a censure or IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
Lauren Victoria Burke/FR132934 AP

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said on Sunday that it would be “appropriate” to revoke the security clearance of President Donald Trump’s national security advisor Michael Flynn.

On ABC’s “This Week” George Stephanopoulos referenced an interview with Trump’s senior policy advisor Stephen Miller earlier on the show. Miller said that he did not “have any news to make” with regard to Flynn’s reported conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States about sanctions before Trump took office.

“Mr. Miller didn’t want to take questions about General Flynn, who’s under criticism for those contacts with the Russian ambassador, perhaps misleading the Vice President as well,” Stephanopoulos asked. “Do you agree with the Democratic leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, that his security clearance should be revoked, pending the completion of the investigation?”

“I think that’s an appropriate action,” Cummings replied. “But, George, there’s something else that needs to be asked. That is, did the President instruct General Flynn to talk to the ambassador? And did he know about it? And if he knew about this conversation, when did he know it?”

He said that Flynn put Vice President Mike Pence in “a very awkward and a very sad position.”

“To have him go out on national media and say that these were just some casual conversations that had nothing to do with the sanctions, and then for General Flynn to be walking that back, that’s not good enough,” Cummings said.

He said that Flynn is supposed to “make sure that these kinds of things don’t happen” as part of his role as national security advisor.

“And here he is, embroiled in all of this. So I think it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens over the next week,” Cummings said. “I would be very interested to know how the Vice President feels after he was basically thrown under the bus.”

On Friday, multiple news outlets reported that Flynn spoke about sanctions in a call before Trump’s inauguration with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The Trump team acknowledged that Flynn did make contact with Kislyak before Trump took office, but Pence denied in January that Flynn discussed sanctions with Kislyak during those calls.

In an interview on “Meet the Press” earlier Sunday, Miller told NBC News’ Chuck Todd that he couldn’t say whether the President still has confidence in Flynn.

“That’s a question that I think you should ask the President, the question you should ask Reince, the chief of staff,” he told Todd.

“So the White House did not give you anything to say other than that on General Flynn,” Todd said.

“They did not give me anything to say,” Miller replied.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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