White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday that President Donald Trump wants his former national security adviser to testify in investigations into possible ties between Trump’s associates and Russia.
Flynn reportedly told investigators that he would submit himself to be interviewed in exchange for immunity, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The FBI as well as the intelligence committees in both the House and the Senate are investigating the Russian ties of some of Trump’s associates.
Though offering to testify may have been one legal recourse for Flynn, he has come under scrutiny after he said in interview last year that asking for immunity in such circumstances “means you have probably committed a crime.” He was referring to the FBI’s investigation into then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal.
Trump himself asked on the campaign trail last year why anyone would need to request immunity if they’re not guilty of a crime.
A reporter asked Spicer at Friday’s press briefing whether Trump still held such a view.
“He believes that Mike Flynn should go testify,” Spicer said. “He thinks that he should go up there and do what he has to do to get the story out.”
Spicer said that asking for an immunity deal was “up to [Flynn] and his lawyer to decide.”
He said later that Trump is “very clear that he wants Mike Flynn to go and be completely open and transparent with the committee and whatever it takes to do that he is supportive of.”
As a security adviser who handled matters of utmost sensitivity, Flynn had access to top-secret materials and was allegedly involved in discussions regarding potential lifting of sanctions on Russia that were initiated in the last weeks of President Barack Obama’s administration — sanctions that were imposed for Russia’s alleged role in “malicious cyber-enabled activities.”
Flynn eventually resigned in February, following reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his phone conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during Trump’s transition to the Oval Office.
David Choi contributed to this report.
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