President Donald Trump reportedly hopes that if his former national security adviser Michael Flynn is cleared of any wrongdoing by an investigation, he will be able to return to the White House in some capacity.
The Daily Beast also alleged that Trump has remained in contact with Flynn since he was fired in February for failing to disclose contacts he had with the Russian ambassador, according to White House sources.
Michael Ledeen, an associate of Flynn, told the website that the retired general was reluctant to join the Trump administration.
"He did not want to be national security adviser," Ledeen told the Beast. "He didn't want to be in the government. He wanted to go back to private life."
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A source stated that Flynn informed Trump that he was under investigation for his work with a Dutch lobbying firm on behalf of the Turkish government, but the revelation did not cause Trump to change his mind about appointing Flynn.
"He likes him, he trusted him, he was comfortable with him," added Ledeen.
Flynn also had the support of Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and top aide. But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis had doubts about him from the outset, according to Politico.
A White House adviser told Politico that just two days after Trump decided to fire Flynn, the president was already speculating about the possibility of reversing his decision.
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Although White House officials said last week that Trump had not been in contact with Flynn following his dismissal, the sources speaking to the Beast suggested that communication between the pair was ongoing.
"Trump feels really, really, really bad about firing him, and he genuinely thinks if the investigation is over Flynn can come back," said a White House official, according to the Beast.
Trump came under pressure following his decision to fire FBI director James Comey earlier in May. This intensified after the leaking of an alleged memo authored by Comey in February suggesting that Trump had urged the FBI head to abandon the organization's investigation into Flynn.
Democrats described the president's alleged action as an obstruction of justice, with some even calling for Trump to be impeached.
These calls could gain strength if it turns out Flynn and Trump are still in contact.
"The last thing [the White House] would want is an allegation of conspiracy, witness tampering, or coordination," national security attorney Mark Zaid told the Beast. "If Flynn is going to be indicted, or certainly under investigation, then I would want the president to be as far away from him as possible."