The widespread assumption is that Flynn relayed a message to Putin on December 29 not to worry about President Obama’s imposition of sanctions to punish Russian Federation for its meddling in our election, suggesting that they would be lifted once Trump took office, perhaps as payback for the help that the Kremlin gave to Trump’s campaign.
So just how big is Trump’s Russian Federation problem?
Rather, in a Facebook post, said on a scale of 1-10, Watergate ranks as a nine and the Russian story now is at a five or six. “It was the closest we came to a debilitating Constitutional crisis, until maybe now”.
As the controversy continues to make headlines, here are five key things to know.
Lt Gen (retd) Joseph Keith Kellogg, who has been named acting NSA, former Central Intelligence Agency director Gen (retd) David Petraeus and vice-admiral (retd) Robert Harward – all military personnel as several others in the brass-heavy Trump administration – lead the race to replace Flynn.
There will be time for Congress to investigate just what Flynn told a Russian ambassador about Trump’s views of the sanctions President Obama imposed after intelligence agencies found a likelihood that Russia was hacking emails to help Trump with the presidency. Lauer brought up the account of Flynn’s call, which was delivered to McGahn by the Justice Department based on a recording by the intelligence community.
When the interactions were reported – USA intelligence routinely monitors all foreign embassies’ communications including and specially the Russian (and the Indian missions) as do all host countries – Flynn claimed that, one, he spoke only once to the ambassador and, two, sanctions were not discussed.
Pressed for his thoughts on those reports that Trump’s campaign team communicated regularly with Russian officials, McCain couldn’t say with “confidence” that such contact didn’t extend all the way up to the president. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat from NY, told The Hill that the details surrounding Flynn aren’t as important as the overall picture.
Mr Flynn was asked to resign on Monday, after what the White House said were weeks of internal investigations that turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, but “eroded” trust. Manafort worked for former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who was a puppet for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, while Flynn appeared on Russia’s state-sponsored television network and attended a dinner seated near Putin. “Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N. Korea etc.?”
As he did earlier in the day on Twitter, Trump tried to turn attention to the issue of leaks coming from the intelligence community, blaming it on the need to “cover up for a awful loss by Hillary Clinton”. Who is listening to it?
After fielding questions about Flynn all Tuesday, Corker and his fellow Republicans were again flooded with queries on Wednesday ― this time about reports that members of Trump’s campaign were in “constant contact” with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year leading up to the election.
Intercepted communications between Russian officials before and after the election suggest the Russian believed they had special access to Trump, the report notes. He joined the Donald Trump campaign as an adviser specifically on matters of election law, an expertise he developed as a George W Bush appointee to the Federal Elections Commission.
Flynn later told White House officials that he may have discussed sanctions with the ambassador.
On Tuesday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said: “President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to deescalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea”. And yes, the voters on both sides of the political aisle are participating in the slow demise of America. “Who knew about this and when?”
The question, “What did the president know and when did he know it” may be a Watergate-era cliché, but in this case, it’s also an important line of inquiry.
What do you think about the White House’s handling of this issue?
In a statement, Pelosi demanded that the Lt Gen be suspended and restricted from accessing intelligence until the FBI’s investigation into his call is concluded.
Republicans, meanwhile, say that there’s no need for a special investigation into Flynn’s actions.
Former Obama administration officials on Tuesday called for a deeper investigation of ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
“There needs to be an independent, thorough review to get to the bottom of Trump’s connections with Russia”, Brian Fallon, Clinton’s former press secretary, told CNN in an interview.
“He’s a leader of his country”. “Will I get along with him?” “There are a lot of killers. Their spigot of lies – can’t we finally all agree to call them lies – long ago lost them any semblance of credibility”, Rather said.
Facing backlash over his comments, Trump doubled down on past claims that he “doesn’t know Putin”. In a post on his verified Twitter account, Trump said, “The fake news media is going insane with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred”.