Tags: adam schiff | allegations | michael flynn | serious

Schiff: Allegations on Flynn 'About as Serious as It Gets'

MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports"

By    |   Monday, 13 Feb 2017 03:43 PM

If the allegations are true about National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, he has misled the United States about his secret communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while undermining U.S. policy, and "that's about as serious as it gets," Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Monday.

"Our intelligence community concluded Russia intervened to help elect Donald Trump," the California lawmaker told NBC's Andrea Mitchell on her "Andrea Mitchell Reports" program on MSNBC. "When President [Barack] Obama imposed the sanctions to punish Russia, you have this secret communication, which the White House reported was just a Christmas greeting. Now we find out they discussed sanctions."

If that happened, it could explain why Russian President Vladimir Putin "had such a restrained reaction to the imposition of American sanctions," Schiff said.

Flynn is accused not only of discussing policy with Kislyak before Trump took office, but of misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the conversation and changing his story about whether or not the communications occurred.

"If those allegations are true, he has got to go," said Schiff on Monday.

Even had the talks been innocent ones, it's "serious business" to mislead the country and Pence about the nature of the communication, said Schiff.

In addition, Schiff pointed out that the White House has shown willingness to dismiss any stories they disavow as fake news, but that hasn't happened with Flynn.

"They know there are transcripts and recordings that may be able to proof the allegations against Flynn," said Schiff. "[This is] not something the administration can ignore. This may be consuming all the oxygen in the White House and maybe why they had such an uncoordinated non-response to this North Korean test. They may simply be so fully occupied figuring out what to do with Flynn."

On Friday, Trump said he was unaware of the reports, noted Mitchell, but Schiff said that does not "seem to me the least bit credible."

"The other thing we need to keep in mind looking at the dysfunction on the NSC, at the end of the day it's all a reflection on the president," said Schiff. "This is a president who is erratic, who is inexperienced, may be very well in over his head, who starts the day generally by tweeting things that his national security team has to chase after and make sense out of, so you got to lay responsibility I think at the feet of the man at the top. This dysfunction is his responsibility."

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If the allegations are true about National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, he has misled the United States about his secret communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while undermining U.S. policy, and "that's about as serious as it gets," Rep. Adam Schiff, the top...
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2017-43-13
Monday, 13 Feb 2017 03:43 PM
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