"When President Obama imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its unprecedented efforts to disrupt our democracy, Flynn made a series of phone calls to the Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, offering assurances that the incoming administration would lift these measures after Trump was sworn-in".
Some of the intelligence officials even went so far as to say that Flynn indicated that Trump could reexamine sanctions after becoming president.
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.
Flynn exchanged phone calls and texts with Kislyak a day before the Obama administration imposed new sanctions and expelled 35 Russian diplomats over the Kremlin's alleged attempts to meddle in the USA election. On Thursday, his official spokesperson instead claimed that "while [Flynn] had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up".
According to the reports, Flynn suggested to Kislyak that Trump would roll back the sanctions, making the case to him that Russian Federation should not retaliate against Obama.
That forced Townley, a former Marine intelligence officer who had long maintained a top secret-level security clearance, out of his NSC post, explained the sources, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel matters.
Flynn spoke to Kislyak on December 29, the same day the sanctions were announced.More news: Westworld's Thandie Newton in talks for Han Solo Star Wars movie
Democratic Sens. Ed Markey of MA and Chris Murphy of CT called for an investigation of Flynn. There is also the question of whether he broke federal law by discussing the sanctions with Kislyak.
Several officials emphasised that, although sanctions were discussed, they did not conclude that Mr Flynn promised to reverse them after Mr Trump was inaugurated.
"The president and his national security adviser have given the Russians the impression that whatever they do, they are not to worry, because the Trump White House will not stand against their aggression", the California Democrat said in a statement. What's more, he had in fact discussed USA sanctions against Russian Federation with Kislyak.
White House officials have denied that any impropriety took place during the phone calls.
Under the Logan Act, it is illegal for USA citizens to engage in a dialogue with foreign governments with an intent to influence their decisions without the US government's permission. The fact that big-name Republicans like Marco Rubio, John McCain and Lindsey Graham are wary of Trump's relationship is the first sign that they may actually hold Trump accountable if more evidence comes to light.
"General Michael Flynn sought to undermine the foreign policy of a sitting American President".
National security adviser Michael Flynn sits in the front row before the start of a news conference in the White House on February 10.