Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who attended a recent classified security briefing as an advisor to Donald Trump, interrupted intelligence officials so many times that Chris Christie had to intervene, according to a Thursday report from NBC News.
The Aug. 17 briefing at the FBI’s New York bureau, which was delivered by career staffers of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, prompted repeated questions from Flynn, three anonymous sources familiar with the matter told NBC.
The interruptions were enough to prompt the New Jersey governor, who also attended the briefing as a Trump adviser, to touch Flynn’s arm in an effort to calm the general down, one source said.
Both presidential candidates have received classified intelligence briefings in recent weeks.
In a Wednesday night Commander-In-Chief forum on NBC News, Trump said he learned in the briefing that President Barack Obama didn’t follow the advice of policy experts, saying, “I was very, very surprised.”
But members of the national security community were quick to point out that intelligence officials do not offer policy advice. An anonymous source told the network that officials are even trained not to allow their body language to betray their personal opinions, as Trump claimed at the forum.
Critics also slammed Trump for discussing the content of the briefing at all.
Michael Morrell, a former Bush administration acting CIA director who now supports Clinton, called Trump’s remarks “highly inappropriate” and said he “crossed a long standing red line respected by both parties.”