Obama Warned Trump Not to Hire Michael Flynn in Oval Office Meeting on Nov. 10, Say Officials

Obama and Trump shake hands following their meeting in the Oval Office on Nov. 10, 2016. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Former President Obama warned President Donald Trump against hiring Mike Flynn as his national security adviser, three former Obama administration officials tell NBC News.

The warning, which has not been previously reported, came less than 48 hours after the November election when the two sat down for a 90-minute conversation in the Oval Office.

A senior Trump administration official acknowledged Monday that Obama raised the issue of Flynn, saying the former president made clear he was “not a fan of Michael Flynn.” Another official said Obama’s remark seemed like it was made in jest.

The revelation comes on a day that former acting Attorney General Sally Yates is expected to testify that Flynn misled the White House about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

According to all three former officials, Obama warned Trump against hiring Flynn. The Obama administration fired Flynn in 2014 from his position as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, largely because of mismanagement and temperament issues.

Obama’s warning pre-dated the concerns inside the government about Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador, one of the officials said. Obama passed along a general caution that he believed Flynn was not suitable for such a high level post, the official added.

Two administration officials said Obama also warned Trump to stay vigilant on North Korea.

Trump named Flynn as his national security adviser. Flynn, who was conducting private conversations with the Russian ambassador regarding sanctions, was then fired three weeks into the administration for misleading Vice President Pence about those conversations.

News of the Obama warning came as Trump sought to get ahead of a day of unpleasant disclosures about his former top foreign policy aide, taking to Twitter Monday to cast aspersions on Yates, the 27-year Justice Department prosecutor who warned the White House that then-National Security Adviser Mike Flynn had misled officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

“Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel,” Trump tweeted, referring to Yates’ conversation with White House counsel Donald McGahn.

But Trump has left many other important questions about the Flynn affair unanswered, including: What, if anything, did he know about his national security adviser’s conversations with the Russian ambassador?

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SOURCE: NBC News –┬áKRISTEN WELKER, PETER ALEXANDER, DAFNA LINZER, and KEN DILANIAN