(AFP) -The administration of former US President Barrack Obama was “justifiably concerned” about sharing sensitive intelligence with his successor, Donald Trump, says a lawyer for his national security adviser, Susan Rice.
Rice’s lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, made the comment in a letter to US lawmakers, in response to GOP Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
The former administration was “particularly” worried about Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, whom Trump had to dismiss later amid an investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling and possible collusion between the Trump team and the Kremlin to take on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The outgoing administration’s reluctance, Ruemmler said, was memorialized by Rice through an email Rice drafted to herself a January 20, 2017, after she was advised to do so by the White House counsel.
“President Obama and his national security team were justifiably concerned about potential risks to the Nation’s security from sharing highly classified information about Russia with certain members of the Trump transition team, particularly Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn,” Ruemmler wrote.
The president and his associates have been under increased pressure since Friday, when special counsel Robert Mueller released an indictment in the ongoing Russia probe.The investigation seeks to find out whether the Russian government coordinated with Trump’s aides after the intelligence community’s conclusion that the Kremlin helped with the New York billionaire’s campaign effort ahead of winning the White House, an allegation dismissed both by Moscow and the president.
Democrats have, meanwhile, been attempting to persuade the GOP to back the effort.