Mueller Removed FBI Agent From Russia Investigation Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts

03 December 2017, 12:37 | Andres Norman

J. Scott Applewhite AP

J. Scott Applewhite  AP

President Donald Trump changed his story Saturday on why he fired Michael Flynn as his national security adviser, now suggesting he knew at the time that Flynn had lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russians during the presidential transition.

At the time, Mr Pence said Mr Trump was justified in firing Flynn because he had lied to him.

The president's comments come the day after his former national security adviser pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

"I accept your guilty plea", responded Judge Rudolph Contreras, adding: "There will be no trial and there will be probably no appeal".

"There's s been absolutely no collusion, so we're very happy".

Mr Flynn was the first member of Trump's administration to plead guilty to a crime uncovered by special counsel Robert Mueller's wide-ranging investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 United States presidential election and possible collusion by Trump aides. It's unclear what, if anything, Trump believes Flynn lied about, if he had nothing to hide. At this point, the only person who knows whether Brian Ross's report is accurate is Michael Flynn. The people briefed on the case said the transfer followed the discovery of text messages in which Mr. Strzok and a colleague reacted to news events, like presidential debates, in ways that could appear critical of Mr. Trump.

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On Twitter, the president contends that Flynn's actions during the transition following the 2016 election "were lawful". Trump tweeted from his personal account Saturday.

During his testimony to Congress in June, Comey said Trump asked him in February to drop the FBI investigation into Flynn centering on his calls with Kislyak during the transition.

Yates told the panel that she had a meeting with White House Counsel Donald McGahn on January 26 to tell him that she had information that statements by Vice President Mike Pence, based on his conversations with Flynn, were false. "We're unbeatable", Trump said.

The White House has disputed Mr Comey's testimony.

Strzok led the investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email account and then investigated possible links between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation. At that time, Trump, however, did not give any definitive answer to the question of whether he would stand by his former advisor.

"Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the special counsel's office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation", said Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel's office, said Saturday.



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