April 27, 2017 | by Eric Bradner and Daniella Diaz
Pentagon warned Flynn against taking foreign payments
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned by the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 against accepting foreign payments as he entered retirement, according to new documents released by top House Oversight Committee Democrat Elijah Cummings. The inspector general of the Department of Defense also opened an investigation of Flynn earlier this month, according to an April 11 letter released by the committee today.
The news comes two days after House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz said Flynn may have broken the law by not disclosing payments he received from RT-TV, a station widely considered a propaganda arm of the Russian government. Chaffetz sent a letter to the acting secretary of the Army asking for a final determination as to whether Flynn violated the law.
And it seems the White House isn’t defending their guy anymore. White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters he thinks it is “appropriate” for the Defense Department inspector general to look into Flynn “if they think there is wrongdoing.” More from CNN’s Manu Raju, Jim Sciutto and Tom LoBianco.
#TBT to that time Flynn spoke at a press briefing: On February 1, then-national security adviser Michael Flynn said the White House was “officially putting Iran on notice” for a recent missile test and support for Houthi rebels in Yemen.
“Thank you very much.”
— President Donald Trump’s response after ignoring a reporter who asked if he had any regrets about hiring Michael Flynn.
While President Donald Trump was meeting with children visiting the White House for “bring your child to work day,” his Twitter account published a tweet storm attacking Democrats for not supporting the GOP’s government funding bill. It was likely that he prewrote the tweets and had his staff send them out — and it turned out those were papers, not a phone, in Trump’s hands — but this photo still left people wondering.
NRSC to firms: Don’t work for Strange’s opponents
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is warning consulting firms that they would face retribution — as in a Jamestown-in-2014 blacklisting — if they work with Republicans who oppose Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama’s Republican Senate primary this August.
There are a lot of Republicans eyeing the office. Controversial state Chief Justice Roy Moore, state Rep. Ed Henry and activist Randy Brinson are already running. Several others are interested, as well. But their consultants are hearing from the NRSC that Strange is considered an incumbent and will be protected like one.
Per NRSC communications director Katie Martin: “We have made it very clear from the beginning that Sen. Luther Strange would be treated as an incumbent. It has also been a clear policy that we will not use vendors who work against our incumbents.” Politico’s Daniel Strauss broke this story.
The other side of the coin: Strange is no ordinary incumbent. Alabama’s December special election is for a seat Strange has only held since replacingAttorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this year — a job he got via appointment from then-Gov. Robert Bentley, who two months later would resign in disgrace.
In other Senate race news…
Strange bedfellows: Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester — a clear GOP target in 2018 — is appearing with Mitt Romney at a fundraiser for Yellowstone National Park next week in Washington, McClatchy’s Katie Glueck reports.
Can’t escape the dab: While posing for a photo with children visiting the Capitol Hill for “take your kids to work” day, one of them dabbed while standing in front of House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Guns banned from Trump’s NRA speech: The Secret Service said attendees at President Donald Trump‘s speech Friday at the National Rifle Association’s annual meetings in Atlanta will have to leave their firearms outside. More from CNN’s Kevin Liptak.
Pentagon to get funding boost in spending bill: House and Senate appropriators plan to include about $15 billion from a defense funding supplemental in the omnibus funding package that’s being hammered out to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year. More from CNN’s Jeremy Herb.
Trump creates new whistleblower protection office at VA: The new office will work in concert with efforts already in place within the government, including an office that reviews the actions of senior executives inside the department and a White House hotline for veteran complaints. More from CNN’s Dan Merica.
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