Flynn exchanged phone calls and texts with Kislyak a day before the Obama administration imposed new sanctions and expelled 35 Russian diplomats over the Kremlin's alleged attempts to meddle in the USA election. In briefing Trump on their findings, intelligence officials also presented him with unsubstantiated claims that Russian Federation had amassed compromising personal and financial allegations against him.
On Wednesday Flynn again denied he had discussed sanctions, but by Thursday the Post reported that a spokesman for Flynn "indicated that while [Flynn] had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up".
On Thursday, however, Flynn appeared to retreat from that denial.
Officials said this week that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is continuing to examine Flynn's contacts with Kislyak, according to the paper.
Vice President Mike Pence has denied that Flynn discussed the sanctions with Russian Federation before entering the White House. "Not only did Flynn mislead Congress and the American people, he also apparently deceived Vice President Mike Pence, who made false statements on Flynn's behalf in an interview with Face the Nation".
Trump transition and administration officials have acknowledged that there were phone calls between Flynn and Kislyak.
Current and former US officials confirmed the alleged exchange, seeming at odds with Flynn's assertion the pair never broached the subject with Kislyak before Trump's January 20 inauguration. The Logan Act, the law which Flynn is accused of potentially violating, forbids us citizens from interfering in foreign policy.
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But he said he was surprised when Flynn initially denied to the Washington Post, which first reported this story, that he discussed sanctions on Russian Federation with the ambassador.
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.
"If I understand the communication between Flynn and Kislyak correctly, there have been some talks". "What I can confirm, having spoken to him about it, is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions".
A law enforcement source who has been briefed on the issue told Milton that the discussion dealt with the relationship going forward with Russian Federation including the sanctions. And according to the Times, it's unlikely Flynn will be.
Some of the officials in the Post story stressed the Obama administration was divided over how to interpret the calls. According to USA Today, there is an ongoing investigation into Russian interference in US affairs, spearheaded by Republican senator Lindsey Graham of SC and Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
Flynn also has been a booster of closer ties with Russian Federation, whose government, under President Vladimir Putin, has been reviled as repressive and corrupt by Democrats and Republicans.
As a retired army officer, Flynn is prohibited from accepting direct or indirect payment from a foreign government, but he has said the payment came through a speakers bureau.