Published: Tue, February 14, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Trump Administration Lied About Contact With Russia

President Donald Trump's relationship with Russian Federation made headlines again Thursday night after the Washington Post exclusively reported that National security adviser Michael Flynn went over us sanctions against the Kremlin with Moscow's ambassador to Washington just weeks before Trump took office.

While the communications are still being examined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, officials told the Post there was not yet any evidence that Flynn explicitly promised Kislyak that the Trump administration would review or consider lifting sanctions put in place by former President Barack Obama in December.

"Certainly, we carefully watch all global contacts of Washington and we take into account the contacts that are ongoing", Peskov told reporters. I reported that, according to a senior USA government official, Flynn had phoned Kislyak several times on December 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in retaliation for the Kremlin's hacking attack during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The official said Flynn has "no recollection" of discussing the sanctions, but left open the possibility that the issue did come up when he spoke with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition.

The top Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday called on Trump to remove Flynn from his role, if the national security advisor did, in fact, discuss sanctions with Kislyak.

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On Thursday, however, Flynn appeared to retreat from that denial.

Putin announced a day after the sanctions were imposed that there would be no retaliation until Moscow could assess Trump's policies, which increased the officials' concerns about Flynn's conversations. Plus, Flynn is one of Trump's earliest and most ardent supporters - often introducing the candidate on the campaign trail in the waning months of the race. The first is that it's illegal for a private citizen to undermine US foreign policy, and at the time of Flynn's phone calls to Moscow, Trump was still president-elect and Flynn held no public office. But even talking about the sanctions may have violated an over 200-year-old US law.

The White House has acknowledged that Flynn has had two conversations with Kislyak. The conversation may have broken a law against private citizens engaging in diplomacy and contradicts statements made by Trump's advisers, who said the conversation was merely to arrange a phone call between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Did the president instruct General Flynn to talk to the ambassador?"

Flynn's contact with the Russian ambassador suggests the Trump administration has been laying the groundwork for its promised closer relationship with Moscow. The official maintained that he had been paid to attend the event as a speaker.

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