Friday, 23 June, 2017

President Trump defends 'wonderful' Flynn who was 'treated unfairly'

Darrell Mcdonald | 17 February, 2017, 00:47

Spicer said Trump will evaluate potential successors to Flynn immediately. That's when then-acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates told the White House counsel that Flynn's misstatements had left him vulnerable to blackmail.

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said on Facebook that firing a national security adviser for his contacts with Russia was "not just paranoia, but something even worse".

Lt Gen (retd) Joseph Keith Kellogg, who has been named acting NSA, former Central Intelligence Agency director Gen (retd) David Petraeus and vice-admiral (retd) Robert Harward - all military personnel as several others in the brass-heavy Trump administration - lead the race to replace Flynn.

Instead of focusing on the revelation that Flynn discussed US sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and then misled Vice President Mike Pence, Trump on Tuesday suggested attention should instead be paid to leaks coming out of Washington.

Flynn's resignation comes as a result of his conversation with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the US, regarding former President Barack Obama's sanctions against Russia in response to the Kremlin's attempt to tamper with the 2016 presidential election. After being told by the Justice Department of the conversations between Mr Flynn and the ambassador, Mr Trump took two weeks to ask for his resignation-while the vice-president knew nothing. It was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation.

But Republican critics of Mr Trump, including Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, voiced fresh consternation.

"Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador (Sergey Kislyak)".

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.

It remains unclear why Trump did not take immediate action against Flynn. The Senate's most senior Republican, Mitch McConnell, said the intelligence committee was already looking into Russian influence on the election, indicating there was no need for a new investigative panel.

Trump, Feb. 15: General Flynn is a wonderful man. But his departure does not end the controversy, and leaves many unanswered questions about the nascent Trump administration. I think it should be straight. "Russia is fake news, this is fake news put out by the media". That is why Flynn's resignation was unavoidable.

Watch Spicer's full news briefing in the player above. Sensing the vulnerability to leaks, some spies have withheld information as to how they gather intel, WSJ reports. What report is that?

"They don't want somebody who knows where the bodies are buried running the NSA", Napolitano said, adding that now "the man in the White House has to fear, not work with and rely on, the intelligence community". "I'll look at that".

The President also responded to subsequent reports from the New York Times and CNN indicating that Trump campaign staff had constant contact with Russian intelligence officials.

"There are serious issues we have to face with Russia, whether it be Ukraine, conflicts in the Middle East, Brexit, and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation issues", Herrera said "National security should be nonpartisan, and if the Russian government has influence, that's something the American people need to know". "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.

Now, Trump may or may not have read the Post story. "I don't know anything", he said.

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