Cicilline calls for release of Flynn call transcripts with Russian ambassador

Rachel Hardy
February 14, 2017

National Security Advisor Michael Flynn discussed Russian sanctions with the country's ambassador to the US a month before President Donald Trump took office, according to a Washington Post report. "Why would he hide the nature of the call unless he was conscious of wrongdoing?"

After U.S. officials first revealed Flynn's calls last month, Trump aides originally denied that a telephone conversation even took place on December 29.

Schiff said that if some conversations were recorded by USA intelligence agencies, "we should be able to rapidly tell if Gen. Flynn was being truthful" when he told Vice President Pence and other colleagues that sanctions weren't discussed. The officials said the discussion was unambiguous and highly inappropriate since Flynn was a civilian at the time of the discussion.

Mr Flynn initially denied he had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador, and the Trump administration said the goal of the communications was to set up a call between the incoming USA president and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

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"He is the national security adviser", he added.

The Washington Post, citing several current and former USA officials, reported late Thursday that Flynn made explicit references to election-related sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in his conversations with Kislyak.

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The possibility that Flynn violated the Logan Act was noted in that January column.

That said, the president should without a doubt sack Flynn. It is unclear what qualifies as a breach of that statue; it has never been acted on in court.

Although Trump's policies on Russian Federation are not clear he has largely conflated questions about his foreign policy towards Russian Federation with his personal attitude to Putin. He also covers the White House.

At this point, it can not be determined whether Trump, Pence and Spicer knew Flynn's assertions were false when they repeated him, or if Flynn had lied to them about his conversations, as well.

Talking to reporters last Friday on Air Force One, Trump begged off questions about Flynn, saying he hadn't seen the reports about Flynn talking to the ambassador, but said he would "look into that". But there was no response until the next morning, when a colleague of Flynn's said the retired lieutenant general had talked with Kislyak sometime between December 27 and December 29.

At a daily White House press briefing last month, press secretary Sean Spicer claimed that Flynn had two calls on four subjects with the ambassador including Christmas greetings and arranging a phone call between Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The question, of course, was why Flynn made those calls.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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