Donald Trump's Russia Ties to Be Probed by Democrats and Republicans
White House spokesman Sean Spicer strongly denied that Trump had instructed Flynn to discuss possibly rolling back sanctions that Obama imposed on Russian Federation. Keith Kellogg is named acting national security adviser.
Trump's national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, resigned at Trump's urging this week after a series of reports revealed Flynn held addressed the issue of sanctions with a Russian diplomat before Trump was in office.
Flynn was abruptly forced out by Trump on Monday after disclosures he had discussed US sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States, before Trump took office, and that he had later misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.
A United States official confirmed a Washington Post report that Sally Yates, the then-acting USA attorney general, told the White House late last month that she believed Flynn had misled them about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the US.
Meanwhile, Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump made the "right decision" to ask for Flynn's resignation.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the "erosion of that trust" over the circumstances surrounding retired Gen. Michael Flynn's calls with the Russian ambassador to the US created "a critical mass and an unsustainable situation".
The GOP's lack of enthusiasm about investigating the Trump White House comes as Capitol Hill Republicans struggle to come to terms with a new administration that has been engulfed in upheaval after upheaval.
January 13 - A senior US official tells The Associated Press that the Obama administration is aware of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak, including one on December 29.
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.
Some Republicans also called on the White House for more disclosure.
"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.
Ryan said you can not have the national security adviser misleading Vice President Mike Pence and others in the administration.
Ryan said it was his understanding that no classified information was discussed.
On the very day in December that President Barack Obama instituted new sanctions on Russia for its interference in the presidential election, Flynn contacted Russian ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak.
The Justice Department warned the White House that the inconsistencies would leave the president's top national security aide vulnerable to blackmail from Russian Federation, according to a person with knowledge of the discussion.
"Despite what the Trump White House puts forth to distract us, we can not lose sight of the broader context of the Trump administration's ties to our enemy Russian Federation and its brutal dictator, Vladimir Putin", said Moulton, an Iraq War veteran who serves on the House Armed Services Committee. Less than an hour later, Spicer tells reporters that the president is "evaluating the situation". Flynn was part of Trump's daily briefing Monday and sat in on his calls with foreign leaders, as well as his discussions with visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In 2010, Flynn authored a controversial report that claimed the USA intelligence community was not studying relevant information required to fight foreign enemies.
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