Last night, news broke that during the Trump transition National Security Advisor Michael Flynn reassured the Russian ambassador after the Obama administration imposed sanctions in response to allegations the country used cyberattacks to sway the 2016 election. Nine current or former officials in place at the time of the calls have confirmed the nature of the conversations which have been labeled “inappropriate and potentially illegal.”
The news directly contradicts previous denials from Vice President Mike Pence, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and Flynn himself.
“Either Flynn lied to the Vice President or the Vice President lied to the American people, it’s that simple,” said American Bridge Vice President Shripal Shah. “The American people need a clear answer from the White House about how high up the chain of the command this conspiracy goes and what actions will be taken to rectify it.”
Watch Here: Vice President Mike Pence, Face the Nation 1/15/17
“MIKE PENCE: I talked to General Flynn about that conversation and actually was initiated on Christmas Day he had sent a text to the Russian ambassador to express not only Christmas wishes but sympathy for the loss of life in the airplane crash that took place. It was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation. They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia. JOHN DICKERSON: So did they ever have a conversation about sanctions ever on those days or any other day? MIKE PENCE: They did not have a discussion contemporaneous with U.S. actions on-– JOHN DICKERSON: But what about after– MIKE PENCE: –my conversation with General Flynn. Well, look. General Flynn has been in touch with diplomatic leaders, security leaders in some 30 countries. That’s exactly what the incoming national security advisor–”
National Security Advisor Michael Flynn Said “No” Twice When Asked If He Discussed Sanctions With The Russian Ambassador.
“Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were interpreted by some senior U.S. officials as an inappropriate and potentially illegal signal to the Kremlin that it could expect a reprieve from sanctions that were being imposed by the Obama administration in late December to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 election. Flynn on Wednesday denied that he had discussed sanctions with Kislyak. Asked in an interview whether he had ever done so, he twice said, ‘No.’”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, 1/13/17
“The call centered around the logistics of setting up a call with the President of Russia and the President-elect after he was sworn in, and they exchanged the logistical information. That was it. Plain and simple.”