Flynn admits lying to FBI, says Trump transition team knew about contact with Russia – World
Flynn admitted to lying to the FBI earlier about his conversations with then-ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period before Trump’s inauguration.
In addition, court documents revealed today show Flynn told prosecutors that a senior member of the Trump transition team knew about his contact with Russian officials in December 2016. The government didn’t reveal the identity of the senior official.
Initial reports said the senior official directed Flynn’s conversations with Russia, but that has not been confirmed.
Court documents released today show Flynn has been charged with a single count of “willfully and knowingly” making false statements to the FBI on Jan. 24.
In a statement, the retired Army lieutenant general said he accepted responsibility for his actions and added: “My guilty plea and agreement to co-operate with the special counsel’s office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country.”
The guilty plea makes Flynn the first person to have actually worked in the Trump White House to face formal charges in the investigation, which is examining possible co-ordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
Trump has not made a statement today or tweeted about the indictment. The White House cancelled a scheduled opportunity for reporters to question the president. The public White House schedule had said that reporters would be allowed to document part of Trump’s meeting with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.
During these media events, called “pool sprays,” reporters usually pepper the president with questions. Trump often answers, using opportunity to deliver his message directly to voters.
Reporters had been lined up outside the Oval Office, waiting to enter the room, when White House staffers walked them back into the press room. White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters then told them the media event was cancelled. Earlier, Trump ignored shouted questions about Flynn as he greeted the prime minister at the door.
The Libyan leader arrived Friday morning. The White House has said they will discuss reaffirming U.S. support for Libya’s unity government and help stabilizing the country.
Prosecutors with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office say Flynn falsely stated to the FBI that he hadn’t discussed sanctions with the then-Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. The Obama administration had recently imposed sanctions against Russia over interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
Court documents revealed today detail the new revelations about Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak and make it clear he will testify that Trump’s transition team knew about his contact the Russian ambassador about the sanctions.