Russia Denies Intelligence Contacts With President Trump Campaign Team

Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands with National Security Adviser Michael Flynn

Gen. Keith Kellogg, Flynn's chief of staff, was named acting national security adviser, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement announcing the resignation.

The former US National Security Adviser resigned on Monday over allegations he discussed US sanctions with Russian Federation before Donald Trump officially took office.

The retired three-star general and former head of USA defense intelligence initially denied discussing sanctions strategy with Russia's ambassador Sergey Kislyak before taking office, a move that may have breached U.S. law on negotiating with foreign powers.

House Republicans were even less interested, with some shrugging off Democrats' calls for an investigation entirely.

December 29 - The United States retaliates against Russian hacking aimed at influencing the USA election. A United States official confirmed to CNN last week that Flynn and Kislyak discussed sanctions, among other matters, during a December call.

Flynn, in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation, said Monday "there were no lines crossed" in his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

December 30 - Putin announces he won't immediately retaliate against Obama's sanctions, breaking from a pattern of angry denunciations of US penalties. Mr Trump then fulsomely praised his brilliance. "There's just so much distrust in Washington right now and frankly I've never seen anything like it".

January 13 - A senior US official tells The Associated Press that the Obama administration is aware of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak, including one on December 29.

Flynn reportedly told the Russians - the same Russians that waged a cyberattack against the United States - that the new administration would ease sanctions on Russia once Trump took office.

"Tomorrow, they will say, 'Donald Trump rants and raves at the press, '" he said. On Feb. 15, on the eve of Vice President Mike Pence's first trip to Europe, he issued a tweet saying that "Crimea was TAKEN by Russian Federation".

"Absolutely not; no, no, no", Spicer said. Although Flynn didn't remember all of what he talked about, they don't believe he was intentionally misleading them, the officials say.

What sparked the crisis were news reports about communications December 29 between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, during which Flynn allegedly suggested that the Trump administration would consider lifting sanctions imposed that day by Barack Obama in retaliation for alleged election-related hacking.

Flynn's departure was a sobering development in Trump's young presidency, a 24-day period during which his White House has been repeatedly distracted by miscues and internal dramas.

It's hardly a surprise for a man who has lived his entire adult life cultivating and attacking coverage in the tabloids to continue that practice in the White House.

The newspaper, citing current and former U.S. officials, said that no such evidence has yet emerged. The Post also first reported last week that Flynn had indeed spoken about sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

"By night's end, Mike Flynn had decided it was best to resign".

They also professed that probe into the matter should also be extended to the fact after Trump learned that his national security adviser had discussed USA sanctions with a Russian diplomat. The report also suggests Flynn had misled Pence. Retails stores in the Russian capital are reported peddling Matryoshka dolls bearing Trump's image. "I can not believe that they are including me in anything like that". Flynn meets with Pence and speaks with him by phone. These calls were to facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships between the President, his advisors and foreign leaders.

The Michael Flynn fiasco was the entirely predictable product of the indiscipline, deceit, incompetence and moral indifference that characterize Donald Trump's approach to leadership.

Later during Tuesday's press conference, Jim Acosta of CNN pushed back on Spicer's "the president has been incredibly tough" remark.

The Washington Post reported earlier the warning and that Yates was concerned Flynn was potentially vulnerable to being blackmailed by Russian Federation, an account that the official confirmed. Flynn submits his resignation.

"It's dysfunctional as far as national security is concerned", Republican Sen. Flynn is spotted walking down the hallway that leads from the Oval Office to his office just after 10 p.m.



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