In a stunning twist, the Trump White House revealed to CNN that the calls were approved by the Obama administration.
Former national security advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to a charge of making false statements to the FBI about making contact with Russian Ambassador Kislyak during the transition period.
The White House said on Friday that it was the Obama administration that authorized former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during President Trump’s transition, according to CNN.
Court records indicate that his communications with Kislyak were directed by a Trump transition official, with multiple news outlets reporting that official was Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
“They are saying here at the White House that Flynn’s conversations with Sergey Kisylak were quote ‘authorized’ by the Obama administration,” CNN correspondent Jim Acosta said.
“We should point out, that is something that we have not heard before in terms of a defense from this White House,” Acosta then bitterly noted.
Footage has resurfaced of Obama State Department spokesman Mark Toner saying Flynn contacting foreign governments [RUSSIA] during the transition poses no issues, the GP reports.
REPORTER: “This building [the Obama State Department] doesn’t see anything necessarily inappropriate in contact between members of the incoming [Trump] administration and foreign officials, no matter what country they’re from?“
OBAMA STATE DEPT SPOKESPERSON: “No, no…and again this has been ongoing. We have no problem with them doing such on their own.”
Following pleading guilty to making false statements to the FBI, General Michael Flynn released the statement below:
“After over 33 years of military service to our country, including nearly five years in combat away from my family, and then my decision to continue to serve the United States, it has been extraordinarily painful to endure these many months of false accusations of ‘treason’ and other outrageous acts. Such false accusations are contrary to everything I have ever done and stood for. But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right. My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
FLYNN statement: “It has been extraordinarily painful to endure these many months of false accusations of ‘treason’” pic.twitter.com/xBuPECn0dw
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) December 1, 2017