Trump says Flynn's actions during presidential transition were 'lawful'

"What has been shown is no collusion, no collusion".

A top FBI agent at the center of both the Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team for exchanging derogatory text messages about the president with a colleague. "I hope you can let this go", Trump said to Comey, according to Comey's memo on the conversation. During the campaign, Kislyak met several Trump aides, including then-Sen. At this point, the only person who knows whether Brian Ross's report is accurate is Michael Flynn. A review of the texts is now underway to determine whether the two agents allowed political bias to influence their work, but regardless of what that investigation concludes, the story is sure to provide ammunition for those, like President Trump and his defenders, who have accused the Mueller investigation, FBI, and overall intelligence community of being driven by partisanship.

It's unclear now why Trump would cite lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a reason for firing Flynn. Flynn called Kislyak again on December 29 to ask Russian Federation not to escalate an ongoing feud over sanctions imposed the day before by the Obama administration, court records say. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful.

Sources told Reuters the "very senior" transition official was Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser.

It is now moving closer to the Oval Office itself as Flynn has agreed to cooperate with special prosecutor Robert Mueller. Asked if he stands by his former national security adviser, Trump said, "We'll see what happens". When Mr. Trump fired his F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, in May, he initially cited his handling of the Clinton email investigation as the reason for his dismissal.

On Saturday morning, he told reporters the White House was "very happy" there was "no collusion" between his campaign and his transition team and the Russians.

After naming Flynn to head the National Security Council in January, Trump forced him from the position less than a month later. Trump instead recounted his election victory past year and touted the early-morning Senate passage of the Republican tax plan - a rare incremental victory for a GOP-led Congress that has struggled to pass Trump's agenda thus far. Trump predicted Democrats who voted against the plan would pay a price in upcoming elections. And frankly, last night was one of the big nights. "Now we go on to conference, and something handsome is going to come out of that mixer".

  • Eleanor Harrison