Trump fires transition team member for spreading fake news about Clinton – report
Michael G. Flynn, son of Trump’s national security adviser choice Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, was let go by the president-elect on Tuesday, according to The New York Times.
Although it has not been officially confirmed what exactly led to Flynn’s dismissal, the newspaper cited two Trump transition officials who said it had to do with his role in spreading a fake news story which alleged that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring from the backrooms of Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington DC, a story which has been dubbed ‘Pizzagate.’
The fake news story led to a dangerous incident on Sunday, in which a man who believed the report began shooting inside the restaurant while “self-investigating” the situation. The story has also led to the restaurant’s employees and other nearby business owners receiving death threats.
Just hours after the Sunday incident – and despite law enforcement confirming that there is no investigation taking place regarding any sort of child sex ring at the restaurant – Flynn took to Twitter to say that “until Pizzagate [is] proven to be false, it’ll remain a story…”
Flynn’s exact role in the transition team is a bit fuzzy. Despite reports that he had a team email address, Vice President-elect Mike Pence denied on Tuesday that Flynn had ever worked for the team, telling MSNBC’s Morning Joe program that he had “no involvement in the transition whatsoever.”
Transition spokesman Jason Miller, however, later contradicted Pence’s statement, confirming that Flynn had worked for the transition team but that he was no longer involved.
Meanwhile, CBS News has reported that Flynn was not fired, but rather offered his resignation before he could be dismissed – possibly seconds before – after realizing that he had become a distraction.
Flynn’s apparent sacking is the latest in an ongoing debate on how much fake news influenced the 2016 election, with US President Barack Obama expressing concern about its prevalence while speaking in Germany last month.