Kremlin denies intelligence links during Trump campaign

Posted February 17, 2017

President Donald Trump lashed out at the nation's intelligence agencies again Wednesday, saying that his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was brought down by illegal leaks to the news media, on a day of new disclosures about the Trump camp's dealings with Russian Federation during and after the presidential campaign.

USA intelligence and law enforcement officials said a wiretap of the conversation caught Flynn and the Russian ambassador discussing the sanctions the day the Obama administration announced them as punishment for Moscow's meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Trump so far has refused to implicate his staff for any wrongdoing, and has instead insisted the real issue is intelligence leaks to the press.

"That's it, pure and simple".

The White House has been aware of the justice department warnings for "weeks", an administration official said, although it was unclear whether Mr Trump and Mr Pence had been alerted.

As the evidence of Flynn's discussions mounted, including transcripts of calls, a spokesman said that Flynn "indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up". "Then what happened is the president evaluated the trust aspect".

It appears that was not correct, and Flynn did discuss sanctions on the calls. Two leading Senate Republicans, Bob Corker and John Cornyn, agreed with McConnell that the Senate Intelligence Committee should investigate Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.

More on the Flynn scandalHow are Republicans reacting? Roy Blunt, R-Mo., a member of the Intelligence Committee, said.

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Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan both said at the time that "Flynn had put himself in a compromising position", with Russian Federation and agreed that Vice President Mike Pence deserved to know he had been misled, according to officials cited by The Post.

"I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology", the letter read. He's speaking to the vice president relative to the conversation the vice president had with Gen. Flynn, and also speaking to various other people about what he considers the single most important subject there is: "our national security".

Questions still looming over the current USA administration's ties to Moscow after a collection of US intelligence agencies concluded Russian Federation interfered in the USA election in an effort to swing the contest toward Donald Trump.

He said Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager who has ties to Ukraine and Russian Federation, was a "respected man".

"I'm not going to prejudge circumstances surrounding this".

"Assuming there is a transcript, it strikes me that that is a foreign intelligence product that we shouldn't be making public unless it's been declassified", he said.

But press reports this week, based on leaks from the intelligence services, suggest that other members of the Trump team were in contact with Russian Federation during the campaign.