The Washington Free Beacon reported on Tuesday that sources in and out of the White House said that Michael Flynn’s sudden resignation from his position as national security advisor was the result of a months-long campaign set forth by the former members of the Obama administration to weaken President Donald Trump’s national security team in an effort to safeguard the Iran nuclear deal.
According to the Free Beacon, the effort was led by a small group of Obama supporters, including former White House advisor Ben Rhodes, who provided the press with negative stories to undermine the credibility of Flynn, who is an avid opponent of the Iran Deal, in order to keep the Trump administration from disclosing the secret side deals the Obama administration made with Iran. Sources said that the efforts to set up such obstruction began months before Trump’s inauguration.
American Military News spoke to Michael Krull, adjunct professor of politics at Georgetown University and executive at Resilient Corporation, about the matter.
“Leaks from agencies comprising the US national security community are a serious issue and must be addressed immediately and effectively,” Krull told American Military News. “The National Security Council (NSC) is unlike most agencies of the US Government; it is a strange hybrid. It is the same in that it is staffed by career professionals and political appointees. It is dissimilar in that not all of the political appointees leave at the end of an administration, but continue in their roles. This provides important continuity to be sure, but it can also be a source of tension, competing loyalties and hidden agendas.”
Krull told American Military News that the Obama administration’s long-standing issues with Flynn from his time at the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Obama played a role in the campaign to oust him from his new position in the Trump administration.
“The Obama administration (CIA, NSC, etc.) had issues with Flynn, so he was relieved of his position at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2014. That animosity did not go away,” Krull continued. “This reality, combined with standing up a new administrative structure within the NSC and the larger White House, did, in my view, color the events of the past few weeks. It seems to me that this is a problem not only in the NSC, but in other agencies as well, where former administration appointees have burrowed into career positions. The Trump administration will have to think through how best to deal with this and similar issues that will in all probability arise.”
The Free Beacon first reported about the scheme back in January when Democrats actively worked to delay Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as CIA Director. Pompeo has been an outspoken critic about Iran and was one of the first to discover the Obama administration’s secret side deals made with the Islamic Republic in the nuclear deal.
“It’s undeniable that the campaign to discredit Flynn was well underway before Inauguration Day, with a very troublesome and politicized series of leaks designed to undermine him,” one veteran national security adviser who has close ties to the White House team told the Free Beacon. “This pattern reminds me of the lead up to the Iran deal, and probably features the same cast of characters.”
Before leaving office, the Obama administration hosted pro-Iranian figures at the White House through the final days before Trump took office. One of those figures was former Iranian government official and the head of the National Iranian American Council (NAIC). According to a source, it is members of the NIAC and other pro-Iranians that are celebrating Flynn’s resignation.
“It’s actually Ben Rhodes, NIAC, and the Iranian mullahs who are celebrating today,” another source, who is a veteran foreign policy insider who is close to Flynn and the White House, told the Free Beacon. “They know that the number one target is Iran … [and] they all knew their little sacred agreement with Iran was going to go off the books. So they got rid of Flynn before any of the [secret] agreements even surfaced.”