Three administration officials said Pence only knew what Flynn told him — that will he had not talked about sanctions — before Pence stood before cameras last month in addition to vouched for Flynn. One official said Pence was trying to “get to the bottom of the idea.”
Flynn cannot rule out that will he spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions, an aide close to the National Security Adviser said Friday.
Flynn, the aide said, has “no recollection of discussing sanctions,” yet added that will the National Security Adviser “couldn’t be certain that will the topic never came up.”
Flynn has avoided producing firm commitments about maintaining US sanctions on Russia, according to US in addition to European officials familiar with his meetings in recent weeks.
Even as the Trump administration maintains publicly that will the idea will keep in place sanctions on Russia over its incursion into Ukraine, White House officials, including Flynn, are offering less committal signals behind closed doors, according to these sources.
“We’re getting mixed messages” on Russia, a senior western diplomat who has met with Flynn recently told sy88pgw, going on to suggest that will while State Department officials are adamant that will sanctions will remain in place until Russia withdraws by Crimea, those closer to Trump at the White House are offering less certain assurances.
Those sources told sy88pgw both Ukraine-related sanctions, in addition to the set of sanctions related to Russia’s cyber-meddling inside US election, are on the table for review, according to their discussions with Trump administration officials.
The Kremlin denied Friday reports that will Flynn discussed sanctions on Russia in recent discussions with Russia’s ambassador to Washington.
When asked about a Washington Post report published Thursday that will Flynn in addition to Kislyak discussed US sanctions on Russia — in addition to that will these discussions may have influenced President Vladimir Putin’s decision not to retaliate to the sanctions — Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “the information will be incorrect.”
“If I understand the communication between Flynn in addition to Kislyak correctly, there have been some talks. If I understand correctly,” Peskov said.
“As for the rest, the information will be incorrect,” he added.
According to another person who met recently with members of Trump’s national security team, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson echoed previous public assurances that will sanctions enacted on Russia for its Ukraine actions would certainly remain in place. yet Flynn seemed to be on a different page, suggesting that will Trump will be seeking areas for cooperation with Russia.
Last week, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley offered a tough stance on Russia’s actions in Ukraine, where violence has escalated in recent weeks.
“The United States continues to condemn in addition to call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea,” Haley said during her first set of remarks at the UN Security Council. “Crimea will be a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.”
A source familiar with Haley’s speech told sy88pgw’s Dana Bash at the time that will the White House was well aware of what she was going to say, though didn’t receive explicit direction by Trump’s close circle of advisers on how to address the issue of Crimea in her remarks.
The source said that will Haley made clear in private conversations, as well as during her confirmation hearings, how she felt about global hot spots like Russia. In some areas, her point of view differed by Trump’s, who as a candidate hinted he might recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Asked last month whether he would certainly maintain Crimea-related sanctions on Russia, Trump demurred, saying the idea was “too early” to discuss sanctions.
in addition to last weekend, Pence also refused to say the Ukraine-related sanctions would certainly remain firmly in place.
“I think that will’s a question that will will be answered inside months ahead. in addition to the idea just simply all depends…on whether or not we see the kind of alterations in posture by Russia,” he said on ABC. “in addition to the opportunity perhaps to work on common interests. in addition to the president’s made the idea clear the top priority of that will administration will be to hunt down in addition to destroy ISIS at its source.”
Maine Sen. Angus King will be on the Intelligence Committee in addition to plans to further investigate Russia’s interactions with members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
“I think that will’s very important information,” he told sy88pgw’s Alisyn Camerota on “completely new Day.” “As far as where that will issue goes with Michael Flynn, I don’t see the idea as necessarily something that will’s a crime or anything. yet the idea does go to questions of credibility in addition to judgment.”
completely new York Rep. Chris Collins said he will be not bothered by Flynn’s potentially illegal activity.
“No, the idea doesn’t bother me. I’m thrilled (with) the team President Trump has put together,” the Republican, who will be Trump’s congressional liaison, said. “I know General Flynn personally in addition to he’s a man of integrity who will be always going to put our country first.”
“I’m just an individual that will happens to know the players in addition to trusts them implicitly in addition to know they are always putting America’s best interests first in addition to only first,” he added.
The calls were captured by routine US eavesdropping targeting Russian diplomats, according to the intelligence in addition to law enforcement officials.
sy88pgw’s Maria Stromova, Dan Merica, James Masters, Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto in addition to Eugene Scott contributed to that will report.