- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 2, 2017

President Trump said Saturday that he fired Michael Flynn for lying — the same lies to which the former national security advisor pleaded guilty.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”

Mr. Trump previously said Mr. Flynn lost his White House job over misleading Vice President Mike Pence. In the tweet, the president expanded the explanation to cover the lie to the FBI, although the subject of the lies were the same.

The tweet was the president’s most extensive comment yet on Mr. Flynn’s guilty plea in federal court Friday to charges of lying to FBI agents about his conversation with Russia’s ambassador doing the transition.

The guilty plea was a coup for Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

The president’s Democratic foes celebrated the guilty plea as evidence the Russia probe was closing in on Mr. Trump. However, the charge related to contact with Russia after the election and would not necessarily be unusual for a transition team.

Mr. Mueller’s investigators said Mr. Flynn was acting on the direction of at least one other senior Trump transition adviser, believed to be presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Earlier, Mr. Trump declared Mr. Flynn’s guilty plea showed “no collusion.”

“What has been shown is no collision,” the president told reporters as he departed the White House for New York City. “There’s been absolutely no collusion, so we’re very happy.”

He fired off the tweet between fund-rising events in New York.

Mr. Trump also tweeted Saturday that he knew Mr. Flynn had lied to the FBI when he fired him in February.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” the president said. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”

Mr. Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, served as the White House national security adviser for less than one month before he was forced to resign.

Vice President Mike Pence said Mr. Flynn misled him about the extent of his contacts with Russian officials during the transition.

The complaint against Mr. Flynn said he contacted Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in late December after the Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia for meddling in the presidential election. Russia greed not to escalate the situation, a move commended by Mr. Trump.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide