Published: Thu, February 23, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Michael Flynn unlikely to face charges for lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation, sources say

Michael Flynn unlikely to face charges for lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation, sources say

The conversations reportedly involved sanctions imposed on Russian Federation by the Obama administration, although Flynn has denied that sanctions were discussed.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has directed the Senate Intelligence Committee to look into Russia's role in influencing the USA presidential election, a stance supported by his conference.

Kellogg, retired General David Petraeus, a former CIA director, and Robert Harward, a former deputy commander of US Central Command, are under consideration for the position, a White House official said.

President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned late on Monday after coming under fire over whether he discussed the possibility of lifting U.S. sanctions on Russian Federation before Trump took office.

Flynn resigned late Monday after revelations that he misled top White House officials about the nature of his conversations with a Russian envoy to the USA during the transition. Spicer says the ambassador texted Flynn back, "wishing him a Merry Christmas as well".

Meanwhile, Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump made the "right decision" to ask for Flynn's resignation.

For almost two weeks, we're told, the White House kept secret a lie that allegedly originated with Michael Flynn, the president's top security adviser.

But in Trump's first public comments on Flynn, he appeared to side with his former aide, saying it was "really a sad thing that he was treated so badly".

Almost a month into his presidency, Trump said in a free-wheeling White House news conference that his new administration had made "significant progress" and took credit for an optimistic business climate and a soaring stock market.

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The Trump administration has been aware of these concerns for some time. CNN also reported that Trump advisers were in constant contact with Russian officials during the campaign.

Trump didn't directly address the veracity of the report during a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but lashed out at what he called the "criminal act" of leaking information.

Flynn, a retired US Army lieutenant general, was an early supporter of Trump and shares his interest in shaking up the establishment in Washington.

He also joined Democratic leadership in calling for an independent investigation into the matter. At about the same time, Pence learned that the Justice Department had warned the White House last month regarding Flynn's conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon spy agency once headed by Flynn, formally suspended his security clearance allowing him access to classified information, DIA spokesman James Kudla said.

The Justice Department warned the White House that the inconsistencies would leave the president's top national security aide vulnerable to blackmail from Russian Federation, according to a person with knowledge of the discussion. The Post also first reported last week that Flynn had indeed spoken about sanctions with the Russian ambassador. Less than an hour later, Spicer tells reporters that the president is "evaluating the situation".

US Representative Adam Schiff of California, ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Flynn's departure does not end the questions over his contacts with the Russians.

The drama over Flynn now threatens to morph into a much wider and more damaging controversy for the White House, that could involve congressional investigations and possibly shake loose even more allegations about the administration's conduct and relationship with Moscow.

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