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Trump adviser's Aussie dealings questioned

AAP logoAAP 15/12/2016 By Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent

US senators are calling for Donald Trump's pick for national security adviser, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, be investigated for "leaking highly classified information" to Australia and other dealings including dining with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Democrat senators Richard Blumenthal and Jeanne Shaheen, in a letter to the FBI, the Director of National Intelligence and US Office of Personnel Management, request General Flynn's security clearance be reviewed.

"Based on public reports, his conduct in positions that require access to national defence information, and his subsequent private practice, appears inconsistent with the professionalism such access requires," the senators wrote.

"General Flynn reportedly has a record of mishandling classified intelligence and reportedly violated rules for protecting sensitive information."

US president-elect Trump announced last month he had chosen General Flynn for the key security post.

Gen Flynn, who spent more than 33 years in US army intelligence and worked alongside Australian forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, told the Washington Post he was proud of sharing highly-classified intelligence with Australian and British forces.

"The investigation on me was for sharing intelligence with the Brits and Australians in combat, and I'm proud of that one," Gen Flynn told the Post.

"... I did it with the right permissions, when you dig into the investigation."

The senators also pointed to a New Yorker article that alleged he had technicians "secretly install an internet connection in his Pentagon office, even though it was forbidden".

"He is also reported to have knowingly provided highly sensitive compartmented information and code word classified information about the Haqqani terrorist network to Pakistan," the senators wrote.

Senators Blumenthal and Shaheen are also concerned about Gen Flynn's paid attendance at a Moscow event.

"Although he has not disclosed how much he received in speaking fees or who paid for the travel expenses, he dined with Vladimir Putin, just 18 months after leaving his position leading the Defense Intelligence Agency," the senators continued.

"As a retired general, he is prohibited from receipt of consulting fees, gifts, travel, expenses, honoraria, or any kind of salary from a foreign government without congressional consent."

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