Top aide to Trump’s security adviser denied security clearance by CIA

Michael FlynnA senior aide to Michael Flynn, National Security Adviser to United States President Donald Trump, will have to step down from his post because his application for a security clearance was rejected, say sources. Flynn had chosen Robin Townley, a former intelligence officer in the US Marine Corps, to serve as Senior Director for Africa on the National Security Council, a forum chaired by the president, which makes key decisions on domestic and foreign issues. Townley, who is described as “one of Flynn’s closest deputies”, held a top-secret security clearance for many years during his government career. But joining the National Security Council requires a so-called “sensitive compartmented information” clearance. This elite-status clearance allows designated individuals to access government programs and operations that are deemed highly sensitive.

According to Politico, Townley’s application for a sensitive compartmented information clearance was rejected last week. The news website cited two anonymous sources “with direct knowledge of the situation”, who said that Townley was informed on Friday that his application had been rejected. The rejection came from the Central Intelligence Agency, said Politico. One source told the website that the rejection had been met with agreement by Mike Pompeo, President Trump’s appointee to head the CIA. Townley cannot reapply for clearance, which means that he will have to give up his National Security Council post. Flynn will have to replace him.

The Politico report claims that Flynn and his team were “infuriated” by the CIA’s decision, which is expected to further-escalate tensions between the retired lieutenant-general and the Intelligence Community. Flynn has been criticized for his allegedly close connections to the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In 2015, he delivered a speech in Moscow in return for a fee, and dined with Putin. Earlier this year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated a telephone conversation between Flynn and Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the US, as part of a counterintelligence probe. Last week, The Washington Post alleged that Flynn and Kislyak discussed the topic of American economic sanctions on Russia, and that Flynn told the Russian diplomat that they would be lifted by the Trump administration.

The Politico report said that Flynn’s team views the rejection of Townley’s security clearance application as “a hit job from inside the CIA on Flynn and the people close to him”. It also said that Flynn’s team believe that the Intelligence Community feels “threatened by Flynn and his allies”. The website contacted the National Security Council and the CIA but received no responses.

Author: Ian Allen | Date: 13 February 2017 | Permalink

2 Responses to Top aide to Trump’s security adviser denied security clearance by CIA

  1. Bill Mack says:

    The American intelligence network has become a deviant conglomerate of puppets whose sole purpose and ideology is to be reactive. When the Boston bombers attacked, it was a mystery as to who, what, how and when. However, within days, it became public knowledge that Russia tipped the FBI. The Tsarnaev brothers were pretty much ignored by our government, as in our intel agencies, and the brothers accomplished a quest in the name of islam. The worst thing that Bush could have done was to solidify the Department of Homeland Security. DHS is FBI, CIA, FEMA, TSA, NSA and in some respects, elements of our military. DHS, at this point is nothing more yhan a comedy troupe. If the CIA has denied a Security Clearance, it should obviously boast its reasoning but not on a political level. I am appalled that some would think the denial of a clearance is politicaly motivated. If that is the case, I would tend to side with caution especially at a time in American history when a tight, vetting methodology be identified and used in an effort to maintain national security. As the now infamous Trump Ban is in limbo, it is essential that our intel network pull its head out of its buttock, and start doing its job contrary to what the judicial system “thinks”. Lethergy does not defeat an enemy. A thought for Trump to consider: deviate from protocols and assign senior level positions that normally go to military “O” grades, to junior AND senior NCO ranks. Our battles are won and designed by enlisted Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. In fact, if Trump has a lick of sense and compared to our last sequence of leaders, I know he does have the sense, he would assign a non-officer grade to lead our Veterans Affairs. If the point of this article is to create an atmosphere of insecurity, at every level, then maybe Trump would best serve America by validating martial law and securing our municipalities, states and of course the United States of America. How else will we get around tbe politically flawed DC arena? Some republicans are flirting with, if not siding with democratic policy and anti-constitutional venues thus the reason for a stagnating start to the Trump ban. It is necessary for a geo-political relationship with China and Russia but not out of a diplomatic Clinton/Kerry type of performace. However, republicans along with their ego-maniac playmates of fraudulent party affiliation (McCain and Graham), are alienating the security of America by saber rattling against the wrong characters. Contrary to some republican turncoats and their liberal sidekicks, Russia is not the problem, islam is. And we are creating a comic book tale about Flynn’s guy and not getting a clearance.
    Lets get on board with Trump. Well, will the Real and True American get on board with Trump?
    I have all the faith in our DoD as well as our intel network, but it is necessary to weed out the lethargy first…

  2. Bill Banks says:

    Seems there is some sort of back stage fight here. We are told that Flynn said “sanctions” to Russians diplomats before the inauguration. Uh, he forgot about routine ELSUR on Russian factotums? Now seasoned TS pick can’t be upgraded to SCI? Uh… Be interesting to know how often this has happened in the last few decades, but that is likely classified TS/SAP. Is there any available data on the ratio of TS/SCI and TS/SAP to mere TS?

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