Surprise: Trump senior aides were in contact with Russian officials during campaign

Feb 16, 2017, 00:51
Surprise: Trump senior aides were in contact with Russian officials during campaign

Pence, who had vouched for Flynn in a televised interview, is said to have been angry and deeply frustrated.

"The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia's financial, personal and political grip on President Trump and what that means for our national security", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

The White House has examined a transcript of a wiretapped conversation that Mr. Flynn had with Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, in December, according to administration officials. In private, internal conversations with senior administration officials - including Vice President-elect Mike Pence - Flynn denied discussing those sanctions with the Russian ambassador. But the president did not receive a question about Flynn's future from a pair of reporters, and he ignored journalists' shouted follow-up inquiries as he left the room.

Trump for weeks questioned the veracity of those reports before finally acknowledging in a news conference days before he was sworn-in that he believes Russian Federation was behind the hacks. They have convinced many, this newspaper among them, that what we need now is affirmative proof that the president of the United States has not been compromised by Russian Federation. According to two officials, staff have even talked about feeding the president "suggested Twitter posts" in order to better influence his policy.

Senator Lindsey Graham of SC, a prominent Republican voice on foreign policy who has been a Trump critic, called for a broader bipartisan congressional investigation, to be conducted by a special committee, if it turns out that Trump's presidential campaign communicated with the Russians."If it is true, it is very, very disturbing to me". His press secretary Sean Spicer said it was a big concern for the President that information was being leaked from these agencies. "And if he has violated any law or ethical precept, he ought to be fired", Schumer said. The feds had reportedly wiretapped Flynn's phone before the calls were made.

Flynn stepped down after leaks surfaced earlier this week of him discussing United States sanctions against Russia during a phone conversation with Russian ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak.

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Instead, Democrats largely agreed to handle the probe into Trump officials' links to Russian Federation inside the Senate - specifically, through an already launched investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee. If those contacts were not authorized, why was Flynn allowed in on national security briefings until the day he resigned? The president, who was joined at his Mar-a-Lago estate by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend, voiced solidarity with Japan. We don't know where this story ends, but we do know the central question: Is something rotten in the White House? The order was meant to suspend the nation's refugee program and bar citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

He also targeted his predecessor, tweeting: "Crimea was TAKEN by Russian Federation during the Obama administration".

Trump previously has criticized North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as "obsolete" and raised concerns about the financial commitment of the US compared with other members. Senator Rand Paul, who ran against Trump in the Republican primaries, said in a Fox News interview, "I just don't think it's useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party".

"Gen Flynn is a wonderful man. I think now he's saying that he doesn't remember whether he did or not", Christie said on CNN. "You need to clear it up".

This story has been corrected to reflect that Sen.