WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s private lawyer stated on Sunday that the president knew in late January that then-nationwide safety adviser Michael Flynn had in all probability given FBI brokers the identical inaccurate account he offered to Vice President Mike Pence a few name with the Russian ambassador.
Trump lawyer John Dowd stated the knowledge was handed to Trump by White Home counsel Donald McGahn, who had been warned about Flynn’s assertion to the vice chairman by a senior Justice Division official. The vice chairman stated publicly on the time that Flynn had advised him he had not mentioned sanctions with the Russian diplomat – a press release disproved by a U.S. intelligence intercept of a telephone name between Flynn after which-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Trump was conscious of the difficulty a few weeks earlier than a dialog with then-FBI Director James Comey during which Comey stated the president requested him if he could possibly be lenient whereas investigating Flynn, whom Trump had simply fired for deceptive Pence concerning the nature of his conversations with the Russian.
In line with notes stored by Comey, Trump requested if he might see “his method clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.” Trump fired Comey in Might.
In a pre-daybreak tweet Sunday, Trump issued a recent rebuttal to Comey, writing: “I by no means requested Comey to cease investigating Flynn. Simply extra Pretend Information masking one other Comey lie!” The tweet was a part of a operating commentary from Trump that started Saturday, a day after Flynn pleaded responsible to mendacity to the FBI and indicated he would cooperate with Particular Counsel Robert Mueller, who’s probing Russian interference within the 2016 election.
Trump’s Saturday tweets had stoked controversy, as he wrote that “I needed to hearth Common Flynn as a result of he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.” Beforehand, the White Home had cited solely the false statements to Pence as a rationale for dismissing Flynn.
Dowd confirmed Sunday that he had drafted the tweet for Trump and acknowledged that it was sloppily worded. He stated it was inaccurate to say the president was advised that Flynn had lied to the FBI. Dowd stated Sunday that Trump knew solely what appearing lawyer basic Sally Yates had advised the White Home counsel: that Flynn’s accounts to the brokers interviewing him have been the identical as these Flynn gave Pence, and “that the [Justice] Division was not accusing him of mendacity.”
Individuals accustomed to Yates’ account say she by no means mentioned any a part of the FBI investigation…