Politico reports: A top deputy to National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was rejected for a critical security clearance, effectively ending his tenure on the National Security Council and escalating tensions between Flynn and the intelligence community.
The move came as Flynn’s already tense relationships with others in the Trump administration and the intelligence community were growing more fraught after reports that Flynn had breached diplomatic protocols in his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
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. [Continue reading…]