Trump says he's unaware of reports Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador

The two spoke in the month before President Trump was sworn in, which is not illegal. But sources told CBS News that investigators continue to vet it to see whether there is any truth to the allegations.

That's a no-no: Private citizens aren't supposed to conduct diplomacy. The FBI is also investigating Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort; Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign; and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative. Mark Warner, released a statement Friday saying the new reports "underscore both the gravity and the urgency" of its investigation.

Two other Democratic senators, Richard Blumenthal and Jeanne Shaheen, asked USA intelligence agencies to review Flynn's security clearance, saying the reports raise "questions concerning his suitability for continued access to classified information".

"The American people deserve the truth". He insisted the discussion did not address the Obama administration's decision to impose sanctions on Russian intelligence services and expel 35 Russian diplomats it said were actually intelligence operatives.

ABC News has reached out to Flynn's office for comment. Trump said on January 11.

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.

The Trump administration has backed Flynn's story. "I don't know if I'm going to get along with Vladimir Putin, I hope I do, but there's a good chance I won't", he said at the time.

Adam Schiff is calling for the head of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, after reports surfaced that the ex-general discussed American sanctions against Russian Federation with that country's ambassador in the month before President Donald Trump was inaugurated. Any discussions about sanctions by a private citizen, the source said, may create conflict and confusion around USA national security interests.

The revelation-supported by a transcript of the call, according to the New York Times-has raised questions over whether Flynn violated federal law: namely, the Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments on matters involving the US government.

According to nine senior intelligence and law enforcement officials who spoke with the Post on condition of anonymity, Flynn told Russian Federation not to overreact to the sanctions.

"That's, um, bad. It strains credulity that on Wednesday, Flynn could issue a flat denial about conversations he had with Kislyak, but on Thursday, suddenly his memory of those conversations changed".

Vice President Mike Pence's assertion in a televised interview that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn hadn't discussed usa sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador was based on what Flynn had told him, an administration official said. Administration officials told CNN that the vice president had no specific knowledge of the conversation, despite his prior insistence that the nature of the Flynn-Kislyak call was benign.

Former officials in the Obama administration, however, expressed concern about the communications. A Trump campaign spokesman told me several hours later that Kislyak had also told Flynn that a Trump representative should attend a peace conference on Syria that would take place after the inauguration in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The spokesman said Mr Flynn "indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up".

And that not-so-subtle shift has the potential to be a very serious problem. "I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these freakish rumors that have swirled around the candidacy". They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States' decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russian Federation.

The Trump team has acknowledged that Flynn did make contact with Kislyak before Trump took office.

It therefore caused quite a stir a month ago, when the Washington Postnoted that Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak "several times" on December 29, one day after President Obama retaliated against Russia for its role in the election hacking scandal.

  • Carolyn Briggs