The White House has denied a story in The New York Times that Flynn informed White House Counsel Don McGahn, then the lawyer for Trump’s transition, on January 4 that he was under federal investigation for working as a lobbyist for Turkey during the presidential campaign.
The source called the report of another discretion by Flynn “stunning.”
This would be the second time that Pence claims he was kept in the dark about possible Flynn wrongdoings, despite the White House’s alleged knowledge of them. Earlier this year, Pence said he was not made aware of Flynn’s discussions with Russian officials until 15 days after Trump and the White House were notified.
The source close to the administration, who requested anonymity as the White House denies the story, is now saying that Pence and his team were not made aware of any investigation relating to Flynn’s work as a foreign agent for Turkey.
“It’s also a fact that if he told McGahn that during the transition, it’s also a fact that not only was Pence not made aware of that, no one around Pence was as well,” the source said. “And that’s an egregious error — and it has to be intentional. It’s either malpractice or intentional, and either are unacceptable.”
The source said that if The Times story is true, blame would lie on McGahn and whoever he told for not informing the vice president or his advisers.
“The New York Times runs a story that says that Flynn actually confessed to McGahn that he’s under federal investigation, and no one told the transition chairman or any of his senior team. None.”
A White House aide said Thursday that Pence “stands by his comments in March upon first hearing the news regarding General Flynn’s ties to Turkey.”
The source close to the administration did not blame President Donald Trump for allegedly not making the vice president aware, suggesting it was likely the president had assumed Pence and his team were “in the loop.”
The source also said Pence was not consulted about the decision to bring on Flynn as the National Security Adviser in November. The two men, according to the aide, “never” had a personal relationship and suggested the two may have never had a personal meeting during the transition.
“You never saw him promoting Flynn,” the source asserted.
The source said there is concern about what the source called “a pattern” of keeping the vice president distant from information about possible Flynn wrongdoings.
“There’s a pattern as it relates to the Flynn situation — vis a vis Pence — that he was never, either intentionally or unintentionally, made aware of the facts,” the source close to the administration said.
Asked about a letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings to Pence on November 18 that warned the transition team about Flynn’s work for Turkey, the source asserted: “I’m not sure we saw the letter.”