US Democrats Call For Inquiry, Firing Of Flynn Over Russian Sanctions Talk
- Author: Zachary Reyes Feb 11, 2017,
Feb 11, 2017, 13:10
One of Donald Trump's senior military advisers did indeed speak with Russia's United States ambassador about sanctions on Moscow before the new president took office, despite denying having done so, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
The U.S. officials said the conversation occurred one day before Obama's administration placed sanctions on Russian Federation in late December over Moscow's alleged interference with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
But he said he was surprised when Flynn initially denied to the Washington Post, which first reported this story, that he discussed sanctions on Russian Federation with the ambassador.
There is no doubt or dispute that Flynn, who has a number of ties to Vladimir Putin's Russian Federation, had conversations with Kremlin officials during the presidential campaign.
At a daily White House press briefing last month, press secretary Sean Spicer claimed that Flynn had two calls on four subjects with the ambassador including Christmas greetings and arranging a phone call between Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. That may be illegal, and to make matters worse, it contradicts denials made by senior members of the Trump administration, including Vice-President Mike Pence. Through a spokesman, he said that "while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up".
Flynn also denied during a Wednesday interview with the Washington Post that he discussed sanctions Kislyak.
That was Flynn's spokesman commenting on conversations held late previous year between Michael Flynn, a retired general who became national security adviser with Trump's inauguration, and Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey I. Kislyak.
Officials said this week that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is continuing to examine Flynn's contacts with Kislyak, according to the paper.
Flynn has previously been criticised for his closes ties to Moscow, having appeared at a gala dinner in Moscow with President Putin in 2015. Russian president Vladimir Putin ultimately decided against ordering retaliatory measures against the US, suggesting that he would wait to negotiate with the new administration. How would that story have gotten out other than by Flynn relating it to others (either to the press directly or to colleagues who talked to the press)?
McCaskill is not the only Democrat critical of Flynn's alleged discussions with the Russian ambassador.
Flynn has acknowledged that he was paid for speaking in Moscow, telling the Washington Post the invitation came through his speakers bureau.