Politics

Report: Trump Knew Of Flynn's Russia Issue In January

| by Michael Allen

After serving just 24 days, Michael Flynn resigned as President Donald Trump's national security advisor on Feb. 13.

In his resignation letter, Flynn defended conversations that he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak prior to Flynn's being named the national security advisor, notes CNBC:

In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors. These calls were to facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships between the President, his advisors and foreign leaders. Such calls are standard practice in any transition of this magnitude.

Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.

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Only hours prior to Flynn's resignation, The Washington Post reported that current and former U.S. officials said that the Trump White House had been warned back in late January about Flynn misleading Trump administration officials about his conversations with Kislyak regarding U.S. sanctions against Russia by President Obama. Trump was also reportedly warned that Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail.

The unidentified officials told the newspaper that Trump was warned by Sally Yates, the then-acting Attorney General whom he fired on Jan. 30 because she instructed the Justice Department lawyers not to defend his controversial executive order banning travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries. Yates would not comment to The Washington Post.

An unidentified senior Trump administration official told the newspaper that the White House was aware of the issue with Flynn, and added: "[W]e’ve been working on this for weeks."

As recently as Feb. 8, Flynn denied to The Washington Post that he had discussed U.S. sanctions with the Russian ambassador. However, on Feb. 9, Flynn told the newspaper via a spokesman that he "couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up."

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Hours before Flynn resigned, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told MSNBC's Steve Kornacki that Flynn has the "full confidence of the president," notes Mediaite.com.

Sources: CNBC, The Washington Post, Mediaite.com / Photo Credit: Defense Intelligence Agency/Wikimedia

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