Published: Thu, February 23, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

FBI Not Expected To Pursue Charges Against Michael Flynn

FBI Not Expected To Pursue Charges Against Michael Flynn

The president denounced media reports of a chaotic start to his administration marked by a contentious executive order - now tied up in a legal fight - to place a ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

In this February 12, 2017, photo, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn boards Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., as he return to Washington with President Donald Trump.

"By night's end, Mike Flynn had decided it was best to resign".

The Washington Post was the first to report the communication between former acting attorney general Sally Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, and the Trump White House.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File).

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 USA created "a critical mass and an unsustainable situation".

President Donald Trump asked for Michael Flynn's resignation after he lost trust in his national security adviser for misleading Vice President Mike Pence over his calls with Russia's ambassador, the White House said Tuesday.

Flynn is the third Trump aide to step back amid questions about his ties to Russian Federation since the mogul began his improbable White House bid. Flynn resigned Monday night - at Trump's behest, the White House later said - after reports that the national security adviser had discussed sanctions with Russia's ambassador to the USA before the inauguration, despite previously denying those conversations to Pence and other top officials.

Kellogg, retired General David Petraeus, a former CIA director, and Robert Harward, a former deputy commander of US Central Command, are under consideration for the position, a White House official said. Harward met with top White House officials last week and has the backing of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

"This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine", Trump declared.

The New York Times reported that U.S. intelligence agents intercepted calls showing that members of Trump's 2016 campaign had repeated contacts with top Russian intelligence officials in the year preceding the November 8 presidential election. Current and former USA officials who spoke to the Times anonymously said they found no evidence that the Trump campaign was working with the Russians on hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

Trump dismissed the claims that his advisers had close ties to Russian Federation in a tweet Wednesday.

The president ignored shouted questions about whether his advisers were in touch with Russian officials.

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Spokesman Marc Lotter said Pence only learned the issue in media reports.

He also joined Democratic leadership in calling for an independent investigation into the matter.

One concern was whether Trump associates were coordinating with Russian intelligence operatives over the release of damaging information about the Hillary Clinton campaign. Jason Chaffetz and Bob Goodlatte wrote.

Meanwhile, Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump made the "right decision" to ask for Flynn's resignation.

In the short term, Trump is now faced with finding a replacement for Flynn at a time of deep uncertainty over the direction of his administration, and with a new foreign policy crisis looming after North Korea's missile test at the weekend. The Russian leader says he plans to restore US ties "based on the policies that will be carried out by the administration of President D. Trump". Nunes has said he's not interested in investigating Flynn.

Ryan said it was his understanding that no classified information was discussed.

December 25 - According to incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Flynn sends a text to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak "wishing him a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" and saying he looks forward "to touching base with you and working with you, and I wish you all the best".

A USA official told The Associated Press that Flynn was in frequent contact with Kislyak on the day the Obama administration slapped sanctions on Russian Federation for election-related hacking, as well as at other times during the transition.

Flynn and other administration officials originally denied the topic had been discussed.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said, "The American people deserve to know at whose direction Gen. Flynn was acting when he made these calls, and why the White House waited until these reports were public to take action".

However, the second official said, Flynn's departure could also reinforce the power of presidential aides Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, whom he described as already having the president's ear.

"Absolutely not; no, no, no", Spicer said.

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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