Trump transition officials copied highly sensitive documents and removed them from a secure facility during the presidential transition, alarming Obama administration officials, The Associated Press reported Saturday.
The practice reportedly prompted officials for then-President Barack Obama to only allow their Trump team counterparts to view the documents at a secure White House facility. The documents included information such as the government’s plan for crises, the AP noted.
Several investigations are examining alleged links between President Donald Trump and his associates and Russia. During the presidential campaign, Trump criticized rival presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server and account to conduct government business. FBI director James Comey said Clinton had been “extremely careless” in the way she handled classified information.
The AP report also reveals that Marshall Billingslea, a Trump official, asked the Obama administration for a copy of the CIA’s profile on Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, on behalf of his boss, Michael Flynn. It was Billingslea who offered to get the profile, but Flynn did not object, according to The Washington Post. The dossier was delivered to Flynn, the Post reported, but it’s not clear whether he ever read it.
Flynn, tapped to be Trump’s national security adviser, spoke with Kislyak multiple times before inauguration day and discussed newly imposed sanctions against Russia, despite warnings that U.S. intelligence was monitoring the ambassador, according to the Post. Flynn resigned in February after misleading White House officials about the nature of his conversations with Kislyak. His contact with Russia continues to be under scrutiny.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, were among the other Trump officials to meet with Kislyak before the president’s inauguration. Sessions recused himself from any investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia after he failed to disclose the meeting during his confirmation hearing.