2016 file photo of then president-elect Donald Trump and Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn at a press conference in Palm Beach, Florida Photograph:( Reuters )
US President Donald Trump insisted that his former national security adviser Michael Flynn had done nothing illegal during the transition
US President Donald Trump insisted Saturday that his former national security adviser Michael Flynn had done nothing illegal during the transition.
Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about contacts he had with the Russian ambassador. Trump said he fired Flynn because he lied to the vice president and the FBI about those dealings.
"It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!" Trump said in a tweet, his second comment of the day of the explosive turn of events in the Russia probe.
I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
It is now moving closer to the Oval Office itself as Flynn has agreed to cooperate with special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
With this new tweet Trump seems to admit for the first time that he knew Flynn lied to the FBI, which is a crime.
At the time of Flynn's dismissal, the White House acknowledged only that Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about what he discussed with the ambassador -- sanctions imposed by then-president Barack Obama against Russia for meddling in the election.
Trump's ties with Flynn have been under intense scrutiny since FBI director James Comey was fired by the president in May.
Comey testified before a Senate panel in June that after Flynn's firing, Trump asked Comey to drop an investigation into the former national security director.