Tags: Donald Trump | Michael Flynn resignation | national | security | adviser | leaks

Gen. Flynn Interview Before Quitting: 'No Lines Crossed'

Image: Gen. Flynn Interview Before Quitting: 'No Lines Crossed'

Gen. Michael Flynn (AP Photo) 

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017 06:50 PM

Hours before he resigned as national security adviser, retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn insisted "no lines" were "crossed" in his conversation with the Russian ambassador in December and slammed the "unprecedented" leaks of classified information to the news media.

"If I did, believe me, the FBI would be down my throat, my clearances would be pulled," Flynn told The Daily Caller in a telephone interview from the White House on Monday morning. "There were no lines crossed."

He said he did briefly talk with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about the 35 diplomats expelled by President Barack Obama in response to Moscow's election-related hacking.

The Obama administration announced the action Dec. 29.

The Washington Post reported last week Flynn and Kislyak had talked that day.

"It wasn't about sanctions," Flynn told The Daily Caller. "It was about the 35 guys who were thrown out.

"So, that's what it turned out to be.

"It was basically: 'Look, I know this happened. We'll review everything,'" he said.

"I never said anything such as, 'We're going to review sanctions,' or anything like that."

Flynn, 58, resigned late Monday at the request of President Donald Trump amid "trust" issues regarding whether the retired Army general was forthcoming about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Such discussions would have breached diplomatic protocol and possibly violated the Logan Act, a law aimed at keeping citizens from conducting diplomacy.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday that Flynn either mislead Vice President Mike Pence and others, or forgot "critical details" about his call, which had been flagged 17 days ago by the Justice Department.

Vice President Mike Pence told Jan. 15's "Face the Nation" on CBS News that Flynn had not discussed sanctions with the Russian diplomat.

That was based on information Flynn had told him beginning two days earlier, Spicer said.

The Justice Department told the Trump White House on Jan. 26 that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail because of his disclosures versus the actual specifics of the calls, the spokesman said.

Flynn told The Daily Caller on Monday he had apologized to Pence about his earlier disclosures.

"For the vice president, I feel terrible," he said. "I put him in a position.

"He's a man of incredible integrity. I think the world of him. He is so good for our country.

"I should have said, 'I don't know. I can't recall,' which is the truth," Flynn said. "Looking back, that's what I should have done."

Regarding the leaks to the press, Flynn called them "criminal" actions and wondered where they were coming from within the administration.

"In some of these cases, you're talking about stuff that's taken off of a classified system and given to a reporter," he told The Daily Caller. "That's a crime.

"You call them leaks. It's a criminal act.

"This is a crime," he added. "It's not just a wink and a nod."

Flynn later added: "One has to wonder: 'Are they coming out of people in the National Security Council? Are they coming out of people in the intel community? Or State? Or Defense?'"

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Hours before he resigned as national security adviser, retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn insisted "no lines" were "crossed" in his conversation with the Russian ambassador in December and slammed the "unprecedented" leaks of classified information to the news media.
national, security, adviser, leaks
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2017-50-14
Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017 06:50 PM
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