Former ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, Richard Painter, in a state of disbelief over the administration’s seeming incompetence or dishonesty over issues relating to Michael Flynn and Russia expressed serious concerns over the Trump administration’s ties to Russia.
In a segment with CNN’s Don Lemon, which was at times comedic if it weren’t true, Painter discussed reports that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was working as a foreign agent while also working for the Trump campaign and the U.S. government.
Painter blasted White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer for his attempts at explaining the vetting process that allowed Flynn to become the nation’s top national security chief while he was obligated to register with the government as a foreign agent.
He then moved on to discussing the administration and its Russian ties as a whole. “It makes no sense to run a government this way. This is a completely chaotic situation, and then General Flynn lied about his contacts with the Russians, lied to the Vice President, and we’ve had the Attorney General in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee say he did not have contact with the Russians when he had contacts with the Russians.”
“People are not being honest about their foreign contacts, and talk about this ‘deep state theory’ as if there are somehow Obama moles in the government under the Trump administration,” Painter said, adding “I’m more worried about KGB agents running around the West Wing or the National Security Council.”
The Trump transition team was reportedly told about Flynn’s lobbying work on behalf an ally of Turkish President Erdogan and the fact that he would likely have to register as a foreign agent before Trump’s inauguration, and certainly before he began working as the President’s National Security Adviser. However, they seem to have believed that the former Lt. General’s activities was not of importance in the context of serving as the nation’s top national security adviser.