MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said Wednesday night that if The New York Times' reporting "bears out" that members of President Donald Trump's transition team knew Gen. Michael Flynn was under federal investigation weeks before he was named national security adviser, then that would be bigger than "almost anything we've ever seen in any other presidential administration."
Maddow made the comment while appearing as a guest on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell, NewsBusters reported.
The Times reported Wednesday night that Flynn told Trump transition team chief lawyer Donald McGahn weeks before Trump's inauguration that Flynn was under federal investigation for being secretly paid as a lobbyist by Turkey during the campaign. The Times also said that Trump hired Flynn despite the fact that the president's closest legal aides had this knowledge. McGahn is now a member of Trump's White House counsel.
The White House declined to comment on the Times story. Maddow said that if the story, "bears out," it could be unlike anything else.
"Can you imagine in any other presidential administration the news breaking that the White House counsel was notified weeks in advance that a national security adviser candidate was under federal investigation and the White House then went ahead and made the hire?" Maddow asked.
"That would be a bigger scandal than almost anything we've ever seen in any other presidential administration," Maddow continued. "I mean, tonight it's the third biggest story of the night. But that would be bigger than almost any other presidential scandal in history on its own terms if this story bears out."
Trump took to Twitter early Thursday morning to respond to one of the other biggest stories of the day before: Trump-appointed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named former FBI chief Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections and the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with the Kremlin.
"With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!" Trump tweeted. The president later called the probe the "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"
This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1495108334.0
Trump's latest tweets came just hours after he said during a speech to U.S. Coast Guard graduates that "no politician ... has been treated worse" than he has.