National Security

Flynn's access to classified info suspended after resignation

Insight from Politico senior writer Jake Sherman

 

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn's ability to "access" classified information has been suspended, a U.S. defense official told Fox News Wednesday. 

The official added that Flynn's security clearance itself had not been suspended, but the former Army lieutenant general is no longer permitted to review classified information. 

Flynn was forced to resign this week after the White House said he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. before the inauguration.

Flynn and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak appear to have discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia late last year, raising questions about whether he was freelancing on foreign policy while President Barack Obama was still in office and whether he misled Trump administration officials about the calls.

A defense official told the Associated Press the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) suspended Flynn's access to classified information Tuesday evening -- a standard administrative action taken when questions arise concerning an individual's compliance with security clearance directives. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Obama dismissed Flynn as head of the DIA in 2014. Flynn has said he was pushed out for holding tougher views than Obama about Islamic extremism. But a former senior U.S. official said the firing was for insubordination, after Flynn failed to follow guidance from superiors.

Former directors of the agency are routinely allowed to keep their access to classified information so they can advise the current director.

Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.