- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The White House on Tuesday stood by claims that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was essentially tricked into lying to the FBI.

“What we do know that was inappropriate … is the way FBI broke standard protocol and the way they came in and ambushed Gen. Flynn,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

She said former FBI Director James Comey, whom Mr. Trump fired, detailed how he broke protocol to question Mr. Flynn.

“James Comey told us that and he told us the only reason he did it is because it was the Trump administration and he thought they could get away with it,” said Mrs. Sanders.

Mr. Comey made those remarks during a recent interview.

Mr. Flynn, who was forced to resign early in the administration, pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Tuesday delayed sentencing, though he said Mr. Flynn’s conduct was disgusting and possibly treasonous.

The judge said the delay of sentencing would allow more time for Mr. Flynn to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

Mr. Mueller recommended no jail time for Mr. Flynn because of his extensive cooperation to date in the investigation into Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Mr. Trump has been supportive of Mr. Flynn in contrast to his ridicule of his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, whom the president labeled a “rat” for cooperating with the Mueller probe.

Mrs. Sanders said the cases were distinct.

“We know Michael Cohen to be a liar on a number of fronts and the president’s opinion is extremely clear on that point,” she said.

Mrs. Sanders stressed that guilty pleas from Mr. Cohen and Mr. Flynn were unrelated to allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, which is supposed to be the aim of the Mueller investigation.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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