Trump transition team warned Flynn about Russian contacts, report says
- Author: Rogelio Becker May 08, 2017,
May 08, 2017, 5:18
On Monday, the Senate hearings on Trump-Russia ties will push forward with testimony from former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who is expected to testify on her "forceful warning" to the White House regarding Michael Flynn's vulnerability to Russian blackmail.
Several former Trump transition officials expressed doubt about the assertion that the transition team warned Flynn about talking to the Russian ambassador. A member of Donald Trump's transition team asked national security officials in the Obama White House for the classified Central Intelligence Agency profile on Kislyak.
In addition to the information published by The Washington Post Friday about Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the Associated Press is also reporting tonight that President Barack Obama's administration was so concerned about the connections the Trump campaign had to Russian Federation it delayed critical information. And according to The Washington Post, when Yates was scheduled to testify in March before the House Intelligence Committee, the Trump administration blocked her from appearing.
Should Yates' testimony controvert the administration's version of events, new questions could emerge as to the integrity of the White House's public statements with respect to Flynn's resignation, and the actions of top Trump aides following the January 26 meeting. White House officials have said publicly that Yates merely wanted to give them a "heads-up" about Flynn's Russian contacts, but Yates is likely to testify that she approached the White House with alarm, according to the person.
A former military intelligence chief, Mr Flynn was Mr Trump's national security adviser for 24 days before he was sacked for lying about the substance of the calls.
The request came as USA intelligence officials was looking into the possibility of Russian interference in the presidential election.
Michael Flynn's dismissal from his position as Donald Trump's national security advisor was only the latest wrinkle in the long saga of Trump's suspected ties to Russian Federation. The profiles include USA intelligence assessments about the officials, in addition to biographical information.
Representative Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has said that he has seen evidence of collusion between Trump and Russian Federation that is "more than circumstantial".
The distrust in the other camp was clear months earlier. Billingslea worked for Flynn as Flynn oversaw part of the transition operation.
The AP continued that the reason for the short notice was due to fears the transition team might tell Moscow ahead of time. Obama aides say they never determined why Flynn was in close contact with the ambassador.
"Should Mr Page choose to not provide the material requested" by specified dates, they said, "the committee will consider its next steps".
This news that Flynn knew about the surveillance and yet continued his conversations unconcerned casts an even more damning light on the way he conducted business during his short tenure as national security advisor.
The outgoing White House also became concerned about the Trump team's handling of classified information.