Top Republicans are calling for an investigation into Michael Flynn

But Reuters reported that phone transcripts show that Flynn told Kislyak that if Russian Federation did not to respond in kind to the Obama sanctions as it had when sanctions were announced in the past, that could smooth the way toward a broader discussion of improving U.S. Dianne Feinstein of California, asked the attorney general and Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey for documents related to Flynn's resignation, and a briefing in two weeks.

The White House has been aware of the justice department warnings for "weeks", an administration official said, although it was unclear whether Mr Trump and Mr Pence had been alerted. Later, however, the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered that the contents of Flynn's call were actually "highly significant" and that the former Army lieutenant general did indeed discuss sanctions with the diplomat-a revelation that made Pence "feel lied to", according to business site Axios.

"Just to button up one question, did any adviser or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?"

The Washington Post broke the story late on February 9 that Flynn "privately discussed USA sanctions against Russian Federation with that country's ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials", citing unnamed current and former officials.

A US official said that Flynn was in frequent contact with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak on the day the Obama administration slapped sanctions on Russia for election-related hacking, as well as at other times during the transition.

According to the Huffington Post, National Security Council staffers confirmed that retired Gen. David Petraeus is being discussed as a potential replacement for Flynn.

Flynn's discussions with the Russian diplomat could potentially have been in violation of a law known as the Logan Act, banning private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments in relation to disputes or controversies with the United States.

A spokesman for Flynn said he had no response.

Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, along with the committee's top Democrat, Sen.

House Democrats have called for an investigation, and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said Monday that Flynn should be fired since he "cannot be trusted".

But he ultimately asked for Mr Flynn's resignation based on a "trust issue" and not a legal one, Mr Spicer added.

After the US sanctions were announced, Russian President Vladimir Putin took the uncharacteristic step of announcing he would not respond in kind, and instead he invited USA diplomats in Moscow to join Christmas celebrations at the Kremlin. And the president, who sold himself to voters as a straight-talker, needs to avoid the suspicion that he is trying to sweep the Russian questions under the Oval Office carpet. The president, who seeks input from a wide range of business associates, friends and colleagues, has been asking people their opinions on his senior team, including Mr Spicer and Mr Priebus. Fuck yeah he did, and the White House needs to stop acting like it didn't know.

Mr Trump opened a hastily arranged news conference to bash coverage by the news media - he accused reporters of not telling the truth and only serving special interests. The ledger indicated Manafort received of millions of dollars in under-the-table secret payments from the former president, who is now in exile in Russian Federation.

Flynn can resign. At minimum Flynn has become a distraction for the Administration.

  • Rogelio Becker