The Commercial Appeal

Trump to look into Flynn, Russia

Reports: Adviser might have discussed sanctions

- CHARLES VENTURA

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One Friday, President Donald Trump said he plans to “look into” reports his national security adviser discussed U.S. sanctions with Russian officials before his inaugurati­on.

The Washington Post, citing current and former officials, reported Thursday night that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak communicat­ed about the sanctions imposed on Russia when Barack Obama was still in office. The references were interprete­d by some officials as “potentiall­y illegal,” the Post reported.

The report contradict­s Flynn’s past denials that communicat­ion took place, as well as Vice President Mike Pence’s comments made during an interview with CBS News last month.

The “strictly coincident­al” conversati­on, the vice president insisted, had “nothing whatsoever to do” with sanctions or the expulsion of Russian diplomats, Pence told “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson last month.

According to the Associated Press, a Trump administra­tion official said Flynn “can’t be certain” sanctions were brought up during the call.

The official added the retired lieutenant general had “no recollecti­on” of discussing the sanctions, but left open the possibilit­y that the issue did come up when Flynn spoke with Kislyak during the transition.

The Kremlin denied Friday that Flynn and Kislyak discussed the sanctions before Trump took office, the Associated Press reported.

Allegation­s that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidenti­al campaign dogged Trump throughout his election and transition, as intelligen­ce agencies delivered increasing­ly urgent assessment­s of Russian efforts to hack emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee and advisers of Trump rival Hillary Clinton.

Senators Richard Blumenthal, DConn., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., issued a letter to U.S. intelligen­ce officials asking to review Flynn’s security clearance, AP reported.

 ??  ?? Michael Flynn is President Donald Trump’s national security adviser.
Michael Flynn is President Donald Trump’s national security adviser.

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