The information comes up when Adam Schiff is questioning McCord. Comically, Schiff leads McCord on to commit to the notion that the leak to David Ignatius (WaPo) re Flynn's perfectly appropriate conversation with Russian ambassador Kislyak could have come from the White House. Schiff doesn't get it that McCord is talking about the Obama White House.
The way this works--and I'll provide portions of the transcript below--is like this. McCord, who worked under Sally Yates, learned of the Flynn/Kislyak conversation from Andy McCabe, the disgraced former FBI Deputy Director. McCord learned of the conversation before Yates but didn't have the opportunity to share this knowledge with Yates before Yates went to the famous January 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting. Thus, when Obama, after the larger meeting, pulled Yates and disgraced former FBI Director Comey aside and started talking to them about Flynn, Yates didn't have a clue what was going on. However, when Yates got back to DoJ McCord briefed her on it, and Yates stated that it was clear to her that Comey and Obama were both in on it--they both had prior knowledge, that is, prior to this small meeting.
Here's the not-much-more-than 25 words version of how the information on the Flynn/Kislyak conversation flowed, without Yates being in on it:
The reason Obama knew about the Flynn call with Kislyak and even Sally Yates at DOJ didn’t, is that McCabe told Comey, who told Clapper, who told Obama
All that briefing took place orally.
And then POTUS himself raised the Flynn issue in the “by the book” meeting on Jan 5, 2017.
The claim that this was "surreptitious" is bizarre. Flynn told the transition team about the call. It is not "surreptitious" because McCabe did not know about it and did not ask Trump official about a legal call with the Russians by the incoming National Security Adviser.
In other words, Obama was totally up to date about the entirely legal activities of the incoming NSA, Flynn. He knew aobut the Flynn/Kislyak conversation possibly weeks before the leak to David Ignatius. Why? Obama's Intel directors knew Obama wanted to know all fo that stuff. The bottom line is that Obama and his Intel directors were actively looking for a way to screw Flynn, and thus 'hobble' the incoming President (K. T. McFarland's apposite term). Remember Susan Rice's "by the book" email to self? That was a CYA email for Obama's sake, in which Rice omitted the substance of the Yates/Comey/Obama discussion of Flynn's conversation with Kislyak.
So, here we have Mary McCord and Schiff. McCord is describing the January 5, 2017, meeting in which the top Obama holdovers plotted how to 'hobble' Trump's fledgeling administration. Goofball Schiff gets McCord to agree that the Obama White House might have committed the felony of leaking to David Ignatius--which is, indeed, entirely possible:
MS. MCCORD: So the way I took it from Ms. Yates is that Director Comey
had already informed the President about it. And the President and Director Comey were then referring to it, which is why she was a little bit in the dark because she hadn't been informed of it yet. So she was gleaning from the conversation what may have happened, and then I was able to fill it in for her.
MR. SCHIFF: And do you know what date that was?
MS. MCCORD: l don't have the date. [IT WAS JANUARY 5TH]
MR. SCHIFF: Do you know whether that took place before the lgnatius
MS. MCCORD: Yes, it did take place before the lgnatius column
MR. SCHIFF: So the President was informed that General Flynn had talked with Kislyak about sanctions before it appeared in the press?
MS. MCCORD: That's right.
MR. SCHIFF: So at least in theory, the leak of that information could have
come from the White House?
MS. MCCORD: At least in theory.
MR. SCHIFF: Go further, if you would. After you did discuss it with Sally
Yates then what was the next step in terms of notifying the White House more
MS. MCCORD: So when we then began -- so at this point in time, this is
still President Obama in the White House. And so we then began discussing - it was not until after incoming Vice President-elect Pence went on Face the Nation that we discussed advising the incoming White House. And -
MR. SCHIFF: Oh, okay. Thank you, that's a helpful clarification. So the
President you're talking about is President Obama at this point?
MS. MCCORD: Yes. Yes.
MR. SCHIFF: Okay. Thank you.
MS. MCCORD: The David lgnatius article was on the 13th. That pull-aside was before that, right after I learned the information. And it was clear that from -- I shouldn't say clear because l wasn't in the room, but based on what I heard from Deputy Attorney General Yates, it seemed like Director Comey had advised President Obama of something. I don't know the extent because she didn't fully understand what they were
referring to because I hadn't briefed her yet. And when I briefed her on what I had learned from Deputy Director McCabe, then it made sense to her that that must have been what they were referring to.
But I don't know - I can't tell you the extent of what Director Comey briefed
to the President, because I wasn't there and also because Deputy Attorney
General Yates also didn't know exactly what had been briefed, if that makes
And here, once again, is Yates' account of that "pull-aside" meeting, taken from her interview with Team Mueller:
Note that--Obama purports to be wondering whether to share information fully with Flynn based on Flynn's entirely appropriate conversations with foreign leaders. As if Obama's own first NSA hadn't done exactly the same thing during the Bush - Obama transition.
The release of this information must put Obama in a very uncomfortable place.