Flynn's handling of Russian Federation talks 'eroded' trust, White House says

Following the Monday resignation of Michael Flynn, former national security adviser in the Trump administration, reports show that the White House was warned about his actions weeks ago by the Justice Department.

For example, investigators are focusing on a phone call Flynn had in December with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the US, which was intercepted by intelligence agencies and shared with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the two officials said. The New York Times said that the Russians made contact with Paul Manafort, who briefly served as Trump's campaign chairman.

Trump, who faces an administrative crisis over the resignation of national security advisor Michael Flynn, fired off morning tweets dismissing the scandal as "fake news" and "conspiracy theories" and continuing to mock his Democratic presidential challenger, Hillary Clinton.

"That's it, pure and simple".

Flynn apologized privately for the controversy to Vice President Mike Pence, according to a White House official. Flynn, who initially claimed that the topic had not come up during the discussions, later had a spokesman say he could not rule out the possibility that Flynn and Kislyak had talked sanctions. "Then what happened is the president evaluated the trust aspect". Two leading Senate Republicans, Bob Corker and John Cornyn, agreed with McConnell that the Senate Intelligence Committee should investigate Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee also gave no indication that further investigations would follow the resignation. It was an issue of whether Flynn misled Pence and other officials about the nature of the call.

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The conversation took place before Gen Flynn took up his NSA post and also before Mr Trump was inaugurated as president. Such conversations would breach diplomatic protocol and possibly violate the Logan Act, a law aimed at keeping citizens from conducting diplomacy. It invites bigger questions, about both the nature of the Trump administration's ties with Russian Federation and the way the new president runs his administration. Trump called the reports a "ruse" and said he had "nothing to do with Russian Federation".

"It is clear that our task is more urgent than ever", Sen.

Trump is also considering former Central Intelligence Agency director David Petraeus and Vice Admiral Robert Harward, a US Navy SEAL, for the post, according to a senior administration official.

"I'm not going to prejudge circumstances surrounding this. It does not necessarily mean that a crime has been committed", said Steven Aftergood, director of the government secrecy project at the Federation of American Scientists.

Sen. John McCain, a leading Republican voice on foreign relations, said Flynn's resignation raised questions about Trump's intentions toward Russian Federation, "including statements by the President suggesting moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation despite its invasion of Ukraine, annexation of Crimea, threats to our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, and attempted interference in American elections".

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