Kremlin says Putin was not influenced by ex-Trump official Michael Flynn

Flynn Pleads Guilty The Political and Legal Risks

Flynn Pleads Guilty The Political and Legal Risks

K.T. McFarland, President Trump's former deputy national security adviser, told lawmakers over the summer that she did not discuss or know anything about meetings between Sergey Kislyak, Moscow's former ambassador to the US, and Michael Flynn, the fired White House aide who pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his conversations with a Russian diplomat.

McFarland told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in written comments that she "was not aware" of any communications between Flynn and the Russian ambassador - an assertion that appears to be contradicted by court documents unsealed Friday after Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

He was forced to resign in February following news reports revealing that the Obama administration officials had informed Trump's team that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak, a fact at odds with the public assertions of Vice President Mike Pence.

As it so happens, though, The New York Times got a hold of emails that suggest McFarland did know about a call Flynn had with Kislyak.

Prosecutors say Flynn asked Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak last December to "not escalate the situation" after the outgoing Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia in retaliation for suspected election interference.

McFarland told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in written comments she "was not aware" of any communications between Flynn and Russian's ambassador Sergey Kislyak. In a December 29 message about newly imposed Obama administration sanctions against Russia for its election interference, Ms. McFarland, then serving on Mr. Trump's transition team, told another transition official that Mr. Flynn would be talking to the Russian ambassador that evening.

Booker also mentioned Flynn's 2015 trip to Moscow, where he attended a dinner hosted by a Kremlin-backed news network and was seated at the head table next to President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation. He resigned less than a month after the president's inauguration when we learned he'd misled the White House about conversations he had with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak.

Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN he thinks McFarland's nomination is imperiled.

Flynn had previously denied that he discussed sanctions with the Russian official, but later acknowledged that the issue came up.

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