Intel chair on Flynn reports: 'Nothing there'

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He pointed out that Flynn, however, was about to become the head of the NSA, so discussing sanctions with Russian Federation should be regarded as "his job".

Democrats on Friday began calling for the removal of Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's national security adviser, over reports he discussed sanctions and cooperation with Russia's ambassador to the United States before President Donald Trump was sworn in to office.

Flynn and the U.S. vice-president, Mike Pence, had previously issued flat denials that Flynn and Kisilyak had spoken about anything of substance and the White House had insisted that the conversations involved only the exchange of Christmas greetings and preparations for a future Trump phone call with Vladimir Putin.

The Post, citing unnamed USA officials, says there's no indication Flynn made any promises to the ambassador.

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Back on January 23, the Trump White House denied there had been several phone calls between the Russian U.S. Ambassador and Mike Flynn on the 29th (they also changed the date of their ownership of a call). However, the Logan Act went into effect in 1799, and in over 200 years, the US government has never charged a single individual with breaking this law. According to US officials who have reviewed intelligence reports and diplomatic cables, Kislyak requested a phone call with Flynn when news of the impending sanctions began to leak.

The controversy drew in Vice President Mike Pence after he publicly denied sanctions had been discussed. "And if General Flynn negotiated with Russian Federation to change American policy, he may be in violation of the Logan Act, which bars such conduct".

Flynn also has been a booster of closer ties with Russian Federation, whose government, under President Vladimir Putin, has been reviled as repressive and corrupt by Democrats and Republicans. "I stressed that constructive participation in global issues is important", Abe told the NHK broadcaster, following conversation with Trump. Legal experts said it was the earlier denials by Flynn that have made his hold on his job more tenuous, as well the broader context.

The two men "did not discuss anything having to do with the United States' decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia", Pence insisted in an interview on Face the Nation in January, adding that to accuse Flynn of discussing sanctions "is to give credence to some of these weird rumours that have swirled around the candidacy".

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The Trump administration has backed Flynn's story.

Putin announced a day after the sanctions were imposed that there would be no retaliation until Moscow could assess Trump's policies, which increased the officials' concerns about Flynn's conversations. "The President must relieve General Flynn immediately".

This is yet another reason why Republicans need to join Democrats passing legislation to give Congress the authority to review any rollback of sanctions on Russian Federation. The spokesman's comments were reported by The Washington Post late Thursday.

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