10:57 GMT28 February 2021
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    The former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's security clearance was issued by the Obama Administration that was aware of the official's 2015 visit to Russia, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Donald Trump’s administration accepted Flynn's security clearance issued by his predecessor, Spicer said in a press briefing.

    "When General Flynn came into the White House, he had an active security clearance that was issued during the [former President Barack] Obama administration with all the information that’s being discussed that occurred in 2015," Spicer told reporters.

    Spicer noted that Flynn's clearance was last re-issued by the former cabinet in 2016, while he received payments for a speech to the Russian television network RT in 2015.

    The press secretary specified that his goal was not to criticize the decisions taken in the past, but to explain how the process works and who adjudicates a security clearance.

    The White House welcomes the investigation by the Inspector General of the US Defense Department into Flynn's ties with Russia, Spicer added.

    Flynn was forced to resign from the Trump administration amid controversy over the retired general’s contact with Russia’s ambassador to the United States ahead of Trump’s inauguration.

    Russia has repeatedly denied attempting to influence the outcome of the US presidential election, calling the allegations absurd.

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    security clearance, General Michael Flynn, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, US
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