The FBI interviewed retired Gen. Michael Flynn when he was national security adviser on Jan. 26 — days after President Donald Trump was sworn into office — about his conversations with the Russian ambassador on the Obama administration's sanctions for election-related hacking, according to news reports.
Flynn, who resigned late Monday at Trump's request over trust issues related to his disclosures about his discussions with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, could face felony charges if it is determined that he was not forthcoming with the FBI, The New York Times reports.
It was not clear what Flynn told the agency — and White House spokesman Sean Spicer declined Tuesday to disclose the contents of any FBI interview in his briefing with reporters on Flynn's resignation.
He did say the Justice Department, headed then by acting attorney general Sally Yates, told Trump administration officials on Jan. 26 that Flynn might be vulnerable because of inconsistencies between what he had said publicly about the conversations and what intelligence officials knew about them.
The FBI falls under the Justice Department.
Spicer told reporters that Vice President Mike Pence's public comments about Flynn's talks were based on what the retired Army general told the vice president "starting on Jan. 13."
"I think the first time I brought this up was Jan. 13," he said. "The Department of Justice didn't notify the White House or the White House counsel at that time in the transition phase until 13 days later.
"We were making statements based on what Gen. Flynn was telling us starting on Jan. 13," Spicer continued. "The vice president went out on the 15th, right? They didn't notify the White House Counsel's Office until Jan. 26.
"The president was immediately informed of that and asked the White House counsel to conduct a thorough review," he continued. "The first part of that review was focused on whether or not there was any legal issue. That's it.
"It shifted into phase two, which is whether or not there was trust that was still maintained."
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