The Dead Pool – 10 February 2017

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As if National Security Advisor Michael Flynn doesn’t already have enough bad news on his plate, today he got some more:

On Friday, one of Flynn’s closest deputies on the National Security Council, senior director for Africa Robin Townley, was informed that the Central Intelligence Agency had rejected his request for an elite security clearance required for service on the NSC, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.

That forced Townley, a former Marine intelligence officer who had long maintained a top secret-level security clearance, out of his NSC post, explained the sources, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel matters. One of the sources said that the rejection was approved by Trump’s CIA director Mike Pompeo and that it infuriated Flynn and his allies.

Flynn has been sharply critical of the CIA, and apparently he’s regarded by some in the White House as waging “a jihad against the intelligence community.” So was this a little chin music by the CIA to warn Flynn to back off? Or was there really some kind of problem with Townley? Maybe someday we’ll find out.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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