Krauthammer on Flynn-Russia Report: 'There Is No Crime'

Flynn and the United States vice-president, Mike Pence, had previously issued flat denials that Flynn and Kisilyak had spoken about anything of substance and the White House had insisted that the conversations involved only the exchange of Christmas greetings and preparations for a future Trump phone call with Vladimir Putin.

Moreover, Vice President Mike Pence is now involved in the incident after he went on national television last month to defend Flynn. The investigations are looking at whether the contacts were illegal. Ruben Gallego of Arizona and Ted Lieu of California said.

"He is the national security adviser", he added.

In July of 2016, Trump said of Snowden, whom Trump has said should be executed, "And if I were president, Putin would give him over".

" ".while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up".

Trump's circle strenuously denied that sanctions had been discussed during the call after reports of it first surfaced shortly before the inauguration.

"Certainly, we carefully watch all global contacts of Washington and we take into account the contacts that are ongoing", Peskov told reporters. He said that the pair had discussed Trump's upcoming phone call with President Putin, and the murder of Russia's ambassador in Turkey.

Flynn's contacts with Kislyak were first disclosed in my January 12 Post column, so I have a window on the events surrounding that disclosure.

The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and insisted on anonymity.

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MIKE PENCE: -my conversation with General Flynn.

Questions about Trump's friendly posture toward Russian Federation deepened after he dismissed the USA intelligence agencies' assertions about Russia's role in the hacking.

The Flynn conversation occurred when Trump's incoming administration was accused of having constant communication with the Russian government.

Longstanding accusations from the USA intelligence community that Putin commanded Russian hacks on the Democrats during the election to help Trump, add another layer of controversy to their relationship.

"It was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation" as new sanctions were announced, Pence said in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation" last month.

Both parties have been uncomfortable with Mr. Trump's apparent coziness with Russian President Vladimir Putin. There is also the question of whether he broke federal law by discussing the sanctions with Kislyak. According to USA Today, there is an ongoing investigation into Russian interference in US affairs, spearheaded by Republican senator Lindsey Graham of SC and Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. The Logan Act of 1799 bars US citizens from interfering in foreign affairs "with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government".

The reports quoted sources who had seen a purported intelligence transcript of the calls.

Team Trump said these were routine and uncontroversial calls, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Flynn and Kislyak merely spoke to coordinate upcoming conversations between the American and Russian presidents. Hours later, an official acknowledged one such call. That effort appears to be moving ahead, even as many in Washington, including Republicans, have expressed outrage over the assessment that Putin ordered a hacking operation aimed at meddling in the USA election. But U.S. officials are now saying that the sanctions were also a topic of conversation.

"It's clear that concerns about General Flynn's ties to Russian Federation were well warranted", Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Friday in a statement.

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