Kremlin, Russian lawmakers downplay Flynn's resignation

Senior Republicans issued their boldest challenge yet to U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, promising to get to the bottom of the relationship between his aides and Russian Federation, and calling for ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn to testify before Congress.

The White House says President Donald Trump is "evaluating the situation" involving his national security adviser Michael Flynn.

President Donald Trump says former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who quit over links with Russian Federation, is a "wonderful man". That's because so far, the Congressional GOP leadership, which has the power to escalate investigations into not only Flynn's ties to Russian Federation but other Trump staffers', as well as the president's-has been missing in action.

Flynn had told Pence he had not discussed USA sanctions against Russia with Russian officials in the weeks before Trump took office on January 20, prompting Pence to defend him in subsequent television interviews.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Flynn and Kislyak had not discussed sanctions on Moscow in the phone call as the Kremlin announced Vladimir Putin and Trump could meet before the G20 summit in July. Senator Rand Paul, who ran against Trump in the Republican primaries, said in a Fox News interview, "I just don't think it's useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party".

On NBC's "Today" show, Conway said Flynn "decided it was best to resign" because he realized "he had become a lightning rod, and he made that decision". The feds had reportedly wiretapped Flynn's phone before the calls were made. House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told the Post, "It's taken care of itself at this point", referring to Flynn probe. The Trump transition team denied Rybakov's assertion at that time.

Multiple sources connected to the intelligence and law enforcement communities are reporting that Trump's top advisers maintained constant contact with Russian officials, according to a report by CNN, despite constant refusals from the Trump campaign. It is unclear who the Russian officials were or what was discussed during the conversations.

"You can not have a national security adviser misleading the vice president and others", Ryan told reporters at a weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill.

Eavesdropping by US intelligence officials, who were apparently monitoring the ambassador's calls, undercut Flynn's denial, which Pence had repeated on national television.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump's pick for Labor Secretary Andy Puzder has withdrawn his nomination for the role, a blow for the President as he tries to assemble his cabinet. But Israeli and United States officials subsequently echoed the spirit of the report, suggesting concern over the security of their intelligence sharing channels and confusion over the true nature of Trump's relationship with Russian Federation. But Flynn has since told the White House sanctions may have come up.

The Times said the intercepted calls in its report were different from the wiretapped conversations that Flynn had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

  • Carolyn Briggs