President Obama personally warned then-President-elect Donald Trump against hiring Michael Flynn as his national security adviser last fall as Trump began his transition, a former Obama administration official confirmed.
Obama delivered his warning on Nov. 10, two days after the election, when Trump visited the White House and met with his predecessor in the Oval Office for what both men described at the time as a cordial conversation.
Obama's recommendation to Trump, first reported by NBC News on Monday morning, was confirmed by a former Obama administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid about the private conversation between the two presidents.
Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, served in the Obama administration as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and was fired in 2014. He went on to become a top policy adviser to Trump and acted as a prominent surrogate on the campaign trail and in television interviews, harshly attacking Obama and others in his administration.
Trump rejected Obama's advice and tapped Flynn to serve as his national security adviser in the White House, a position he held for just 24 days until he was forced out for having misled Vice President Pence about his private conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn's contacts with Kislyak and connections to the Russian government have been the subject of inquiry by the U.S. government for months.
The revelation about Obama's warning to Trump comes just a few hours before Sally Yates, the acting attorney general whom Trump dismissed early in his administration, is scheduled to testify in Congress about Flynn and his contacts with the Russians.