Before the situation was resolved Monday night, a source familiar with the situation said that former acting Attorney General Sally Yates had briefed Donald McGahn, chief White House counsel, on Flynn’s apparent misstatements about his discussions with the Russians.
On Tuesday, Spicer confirmed that Trump was first briefed on Flynn on January 26, after Yates issued her warning about Flynn’s discussion with Kislyak.
Suspicions further raised after unverified reports Russian Federation may have compiled a dossier of compromising information about Donald Trump, which it could employ as blackmail.
Earlier, he said: “Many of our nation’s reporters will not tell you the truth”.
This, of course, still doesn’t add up: the White House was notified weeks ago that Flynn lied, but Flynn nevertheless remained in his position until this week. Observers suggest secretary of state Rex Tillerson and defence secretary James Mattis are in one group, with political advisers Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller and Kellyanne Conway – a group that has its own internal battles – in another. “It got to the point where Mr Flynn had to leave”.
On the Sunday shows, top policy aide Stephen Miller showed no hesitation about leaving room for Flynn under the bus.
“I don’t think he did anything wrong – if anything, he was doing something right”, Trump said. “What report is that? Actually I’ve seen that information around, but it was a very substantial victory”, he said. “I’ll look into that”. When it comes to the content, it’s now established that he misled even Vice President Mike Pence about whether the topic of lifting sanctions came up during the transition period, a time when the then-current administration was imposing new sanctions in retaliation for apparent Russian attempts to influence the election.
Sen. John McCain, a leading Republican voice on foreign relations, said Flynn’s resignation raised questions about Trump’s intentions toward Russian Federation, “including statements by the President suggesting moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation despite its invasion of Ukraine, annexation of Crimea, threats to our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, and attempted interference in American elections”. But Flynn’s denial that he had discussed sanctions with the ambassador, a claim that the vice president repeated in television interviews as recently as this month, was his ultimate downfall, administration officials say.
Considering his role in advising the President on national security matters, is the White House concerned that he maybe briefed the President-elect, Vice President-elect with incomplete information on other matters of national security in addition to his phone calls with the Russian Ambassador?
Flynn spoke on the phone with Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak on December 29, the day President Barack Obama’s administration announced sanctions against Russian Federation in response to its reported efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. But Mr Shapiro disagreed. “But tomorrow, the headlines are going to be, ‘Donald Trump rants and raves.’ I’m not ranting and raving”. “This is an embarrassing distraction”. A senior Trump administration official also said that they were aware of the matter and that they were “working on this for weeks”.