The most surprising thing about the scandal and resignation of Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn may be how he was caught.
On Feb. 9, the New York Times published an article citing current and former US officials saying that Flynn had “unambiguous and highly inappropriate” conversations with the Russian ambassador about easing the US’s sanctions on Russia once Trump took office.
But Flynn had to know that agents monitor calls with the Russian ambassador — especially considering his career as an Army intelligence officer well-aware of how the US carries out foreign surveillance.
In a December phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Flynn reportedly urged him to not overreact to the latest round of sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama, indicating that the next administration might be more inclined to roll them back.
Officials told the Times that they were surprised the former Defence Intelligence Agency chief had made those comments, and even more surprised when Trump administration officials denied the claims that were, at that point, on the record.
Vice President Mike Pence defended Flynn in an interview with CBS in January, saying Flynn “didn’t discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.”
Flynn blamed the “fast pace of events” for not giving Pence the full story, and he re
signed on Monday.
Trump’s senior counselor Kellyanne Conway said on the “Today” show on Tuesday that it was Flynn’s inability to properly communicate with Pence that ended his relationship with the White House, not the collusion with Russia.
“In the end, it was misleading the vice president that made the situation unsustainable,” Conway said.
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