White House Aide Flynn Resigns Amid Questions About Talks With Russian Envoy
Feb 15 2017 by Irving Hamilton
US President Donald Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn, is struggling to get past a controversy over his contacts with Russian officials before Mr Trump took office, conversations that officials said have raised concerns within the White House.
The Flynn affair comes after USA intelligence agencies gave consideration to a report by Christopher Steele, a British former spy, which suggested that the Kremlin may have information that could be used to blackmail Mr Trump.
Of course, Flynn had to go after he admitted that he had "inadvertently" misled Vice President-elect Pence and others about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States in the final days of the Obama administration.
The Kremlin has denied claims that Gen. Flynn discussed lifting sanctions on Russian Federation with Kislyak.
"I don't know about it, I haven't seen it", he responded. "What report is that?" "I hope they sort it out soon because we're a nation at war", he said at a military conference.
Representative Eliot L. Engel, ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said after Flynn announced his resignation that he "is doing the right thing by stepping down".
When the interactions were reported - USA intelligence routinely monitors all foreign embassies communications including and specially the Russian (and the Indian missions) as do all host countries - he claimed, one, he spoke only once to the embassy and, two, the sanctions were not discussed. "The American people deserve the full story, including when the White House became aware of General Flynn's communications and whether anyone directed him to discuss our sanctions policy with Russian officials".
Yet when pressed on the timeline of events leading up to Flynn's dismissal and whether Flynn resigned on his own or at the behest of President Trump, Conway offered an incoherent explanation. Spicer said the White House council determined "immediately" Flynn had not done anything illegal while communicating with Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, and said there was no legal issue with Flynn's conversation with Kislyak.
But he did indicate that sanctions imposed by former president Barack Obama on Russian Federation for its Ukraine incursion "would not necessarily carry over to an administration seeking to improve relations between the USA and Russia".
Other sources, from within the camp that favored Flynn's departure, told Fox News that the president's displeasure with Flynn had been building for some time, starting with the flap over his son's dismissal from the transition team, and that even some top intelligence officials considered Flynn "nutty". He said that Mr Trump spoken with White House legal counsel, Donald McGahn.
Former Cleveland Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich on Tuesday said that scheming by the intelligence community to perpetuate the Cold War is behind Michael Flynn's resignation as national security adviser.
Spicer said that the president has kept a close eye Oroville Dam situation in California, which has prompted widespread evacuations, and said that it's evidence that Congress should pursue a comprehensive infrastructure package. "That was it, plain and simple", Spicer said.