Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin said that former President Obama had a “devastating effect” that “politicized” the U.S. intelligence community during an interview Wednesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
Boykin, the former U.S. deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush, suggested the politicization of intelligence agencies led to the downfall of National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
“The community itself has been politicized — the intel community. And I think this is one of the results — this is one of the things that you’re seeing come out of that politicization.”
Flynn, whom Boykin said inspired “great angst” within the intelligence community, may have been targeted because of his unconventional views on foreign policy and the military.
“Now, I have a great respect for the intel community. But Obama has really had a devastating effect on them, just like he has the military. And he’s done it in a variety of ways,” Boykin told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham.
“So I think Flynn was targeted by them because they were concerned about where Flynn was going to go in terms of what he was going to recommend to President Trump.”
Flynn resigned from his post Monday evening following reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence concerning details of his phone conversation with a Russian official prior to Trump’s inauguration. The former national security adviser found himself in hot water when a report from The Washington Post quoted unnamed former and current U.S. officials who had knowledge of the phone call transcript and regarded Flynn with suspicion.
The Post also reported that Obama appointee Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general until Trump fired her, had alerted the White House to concerns from Flynn’s Russian contacts and conversations.
“It is very clear that Mike Flynn has visited Russia. He’s had interest in Russia,” Boykin said.
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Although the transcript of Flynn’s phone call has not been released and the exact details are unavailable, Boykin noted the Left has taken up a relentless witch hunt to tie Trump to the Russian hacks that marred the 2016 election in any and every way they can possible conceive.
“If they want to go down the trail of some collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians to interfere in the election and all that, prove it. There has been no evidence,” Boykin said.
Boykin insisted that the most important thing that Flynn “did wrong” throughout the entire controversy was to “mislead the vice president,” regardless of the unknown degree to which Flynn delved into the topic of U.S. sanctions during the phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“And that’s unacceptable,” Boykin said.
Nevertheless, Boykin raised the question of why Flynn, in particular, was specifically targeted in the information the intelligence officials leaked to the press.
“Mike Flynn was not revered by the intelligence community. He was an innovator who challenged the intelligence community,” Boykin said. “The community itself has been politicized — the intel community. And I think this is one of the results — this is one of the things that you’re seeing come out of that politicization.”
“You’re seeing a guy that is key in the Trump administration being targeted, and they have used the tools that they have available to them to bring this guy down,” Boykin told Ingraham. “And I think this is a devastating loss to the Trump administration and to the country as a whole.”
Noting that there were some intelligence members who were “lined up against” Flynn when his name was floated for the Director of National Intelligence position, Boykin claimed that those officials were horrified at the prospect of Flynn overseeing their 16 agencies.
“So the long knives were out after him,” Boykin said. “The intel community has a great angst against Flynn.”
Calling Flynn a “reformer,” Ingraham agreed that “given what we’re seeing with these leaks, it needs a lot of reforming. It’s become politicized, it looks like.”
Under Obama’s leadership and oversight, the intelligence community has become “somewhat discredited,” Boykin claimed, as partisan politics appeared to seep through the agencies.
“And you’ve got a guy like Flynn that comes in and is known to be an innovator. Now who are they going to line up against? Trump himself? No.They’re going to line up against anybody he might use to bring them back to where they need to be,” Boykin claimed.
According to Boykin, one of the biggest beefs some in the intelligence community held against Flynn was his outspoken position on the dangers of Islam. Noting that Flynn was also a prominent critic of Obama’s Iran deal, Ingraham and the lieutenant-general recalled that Flynn was often labeled as an “Islamophobe” who cautioned against Islam’s influence on Western society.
“Mike Flynn was one of the first people to come up with a credible voice and say, ‘No. No, no. We need to look at what the Quran says'” and how its followers respond, Boykin said. “The intel community has yet to adapt that because [Obama] has not allowed them to.”
“So Mike Flynn was going to force them to do something that they have been reluctant to do and that the presidents of the United States, the last two, have really not allowed them to do. And that was another reason that Mike Flynn was on the outside looking in,” Boykin theorized.
As questions continue to swirl surrounding the nature of the Flynn controversy and the Left’s dogmatic quest to tie Trump to Russia, Boykin predicted that politicization will continue to divide the country even further.
“We always have some kind of scandal or turmoil in Washington. You know what — it’s to be expected,” Boykin told Ingraham. “I just hope we get it behind us and get down to the real business of the country here very quickly.”
As the leaks continue to flow out of the intelligence community and the West Wing, the president registered his severe disapproval.
“Gen. Flynn is a wonderful man,” Trump said Wednesday during a press conference. “I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media, as I call it the ‘fake media,’ in many cases, and I think it’s really a sad thing that he was treated so badly … I think in addition to that, from intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked … It’s criminal action, a criminal act, and it’s been going on for a long time, before me, but now it’s really going on. And people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under [former Democratic nominee] Hillary Clinton.”