One of Donald Trump’s most effective arguments against Hillary Clinton during the election campaign was her use of a private email server that led to the inappropriate sharing of classified materials while she was secretary of state.
During the second presidential debate, Trump said he would appoint a special prosecutor to “look into her emails,” which famously led to the “lock her up chant” at his campaign rallies.
But the chickens are coming home to roost for the president-elect as his pick for national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, is being accused of "inappropriately" sharing classified information with foreign governments, according to The Washington Post.
From army documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the Post contradicts Flynn's previous version of the incident, in which he said he shared the materials with permission.
Back in August, Flynn had acknowledged to the Post that he had been investigated for giving classified information to British and Australian officials serving in Afghanistan alongside U.S. forces, and he had defended his actions.
"That was substantiated because I actually did it,” he said. “But I did it with the right permissions when you dig into that investigation. I'm proud of that one. Accuse me of sharing intelligence in combat with our closest allies, please."
While the documents do not describe what the materials contained, the Post reported they had to do with CIA operations.
The newly-obtained army documents, however, revealed that the investigation had determined that Flynn actually did not have permission to share that information.
The investigation, though, also concluded that he did not act "knowingly" and that "there was no actual or potential damage to national security as a result," which is why Flynn did not face any disciplinary action.
Ironically, the Army investigation was ordered by the head of U.S. Central Command, whose commander at the time was retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who is now Trump's pick for defense secretary.
Flynn himself had condemned Clinton for her careless use of a private server and had vocally called for her to be prosecuted for it.
The 57-year-old former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency has always been a controversial pick because of his cozy relationship with Russia and his extreme views on Islam. He once referred to the religion as “a cancer” and has been prone to sharing outlandish conspiracy theories on the internet.
Trump spent his campaign doggedly railing against Clinton’s alleged misconduct, even though the FBI deemed there was insufficient evidence to proceed with formal charges. Yet, he has the gall to nominate someone who has been found to have indulged in similar misconduct.
The president-elect’s hypocrisy would be surprising if he wasn’t so consistent about it, but then that’s what makes him Trump.