Michael Flynn

Photo via Defense Intelligence Agency/WikiMedia Commons (Public Domain)

Michael Flynn allegedly misled FBI about Russia call, contradicting earlier report

Things aren't going well for Trump's former national security adviser.

 

Dell Cameron

Tech

Published Feb 16, 2017   Updated May 24, 2021, 11:47 pm CDT

Things may have just gotten much worse for Michael Flynn.

After resigning this week as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, accused of misleading administration officials about his discussions with a Russian ambassador, a new report suggests Flynn’s transgression may have crossed legal boundaries in addition to professional ones.

Hours after a bizarre press conference with the president on Thursday, in which he derided the news media for reporting on classified leaks, the Washington Post countered with a dynamite allegation: Flynn was not truthful with the FBI, either.

Current and former U.S. officials informed the Post that while being interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last month about his post-election chat with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Flynn denied discussing sanctions imposed by the Obama administration on Russia in response to its meddling in the U.S. election.

It is a federal felony to make a false statement to an FBI agent concerning a matter under the FBI’s jurisdiction.

The Post story contradicts CNN national security correspondent Jim Sciutto’s report on Wednesday that Flynn was “cooperative and provided truthful answers” to the FBI, as Sciutto described it.

Flynn’s resignation was requested by the president on Monday night following a slew of reports from the Post, the New York Times, and CNN, which revealed that Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence regarding the substance of his call with Kislyak. Pence had previously backed up Flynn’s story about the calls.  

In a tweet just after one of Flynn’s calls with Kislyak, Trump praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as “very smart” for deciding not to retaliate against the U.S. in response to the sanctions.

In an interview with the Post this week, Kislyak also confirmed having made contact with Flynn before the election. Multiple U.S. officials told the Times this week that phone records and intercepted calls reveal that Trump’s campaign staff had repeated conversations with senior Russian intelligence officials before the election.

Also revealed this week, Attorney General Sally Yates is said to have informed the White House counsel about Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak shortly before she was fired and personally attacked by the president.

It is not immediately clear what action the Justice Department might take against Flynn, if any, for misleading the FBI, which has declined to comment on the matter. CNN’s Sciutto reported that the FBI did not plan to bring charges against Flynn.

Trump on Thursday called Flynn a “fine person” who did the right thing by speaking with Russia’s ambassador.

“When I looked at the information, I said, I don’t think he did anything wrong,” Trump told reporters during his first extended discussion of the matter. “In fact, I think he did something right.”

“The thing is he didn’t tell our vice president properly and then he said he didn’t remember. So either way, it wasn’t very satisfactory to me.”

Share this article
*First Published: Feb 16, 2017, 6:17 pm CST