Trump claims Democrats are faking Russian Federation stories
23 February, 2017, 00:59 | Author: Essie Rivera
The conversations reportedly involved sanctions imposed on Russian Federation by the Obama administration, although Flynn has denied that sanctions were discussed. Flynn resigned as President Donald Trump's national security advis.
Senior administration officials told CNN that the front-runner for the post is former Vice Admiral Bob Harward, a former Navy SEAL who worked for Defense Secretary James Mattis at Central Command was the favorite.
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 United States sanctions on Russian Federation before Trump took office.
The Times, citing current and former US officials, said USA law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they discovered Russian Federation was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee. Spicer says the ambassador texted Flynn back, "wishing him a Merry Christmas as well".
"The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?".
At a news conference later with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump charged that intelligence leaks to the news media were "a criminal act".
During Tuesday's press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the President asked Flynn to resign due to trust issues, not because he was legally obligated.
Flynn's ouster was a blow to a White House struggling to find its footing in Trump's first weeks in office.
Flynn's resignation came after it was reported that the Justice Department warned the White House weeks ago that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail for contacts with Russian officials before Trump took power on January 20.
Amid reports of widespread leaks within his administration, Trump also warned that he would clamp down on the dissemination of sensitive information, saying he had asked the Justice Department to look into the leaks.
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House Republicans were even less interested, with some shrugging off Democrats' calls for an investigation entirely. The Russian leader says he plans to restore US ties "based on the policies that will be carried out by the administration of President D. Trump".
December 25 - According to incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Flynn sends a text to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak "wishing him a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" and saying he looks forward "to touching base with you and working with you, and I wish you all the best". Majority members of the House Ways and Means Committee blocked minority Democrats' attempts Tuesday to obtain Trump's tax returns in an effort to determine whether he has significant financial ties, including debts, in Russian Federation.
Ryan said it was his understanding that no classified information was discussed.
"It is not clear whether Mr. Flynn had a lawyer for his interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or whether anyone at the White House, including lawyers there, knew the interview was happening", the Times reported.
A USA official told The Associated Press that Flynn was in frequent contact with Kislyak on the day the Obama administration slapped sanctions on Russian Federation for election-related hacking, as well as at other times during the transition.
An administration official and two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed the Justice Department warnings on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
On Thursday, the president denied he or any of his aides were involved.
"Absolutely not; no, no, no", Spicer said.
"Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador", wrote Flynn in his resignation letter.
In 2010, Flynn authored a controversial report that claimed the US intelligence community was not studying relevant information required to fight foreign enemies.
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However, similar claims were made by Hamas after rockets were fired towards Israel's Eilat earlier this month. Three of the rockets were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome; the fourth fell into an open field.
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