Michael Flynn asked Russia to hold back on retaliation for Obama sanctions before Trump took office, transcripts reveal

MICHAEL Flynn asked Russia to approach the Obama administration’s sanctions on the Kremlin for election interference in a “reciprocal” way, according to bombshell transcripts. 

Flynn, who was the incoming national security adviser for President-elect Donald Trump in 2016, warned Russia‘s US Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a call not to resort to “tit for tat” retaliation.

Michael Flynn
Reuters

Transcripts showed on Friday that Michael Flynn urged Russia’s top diplomat to retaliate against Obama-era sanctions on the Kremlin for interfering in the 2016 presidential race[/caption]

Barack Obama 2016
Getty Images – Getty

The transcripts were released by Trump’s new spy chief as his Obamagate accusations continue[/caption]

The transcripts were released on Friday by Senate Republicans after being declassified by Trump’s new national intelligence director John Ratcliffe, who was sworn into the job earlier this week.

Flynn asked Kislyak not to “box in” the Trump administration with Obama’s sanctions on the December 29, 2016 call.

He also requested Russia’s response to the sanctions be resolute, emphasizing that the Moscow should “make it reciprocal.”

“Don’t go any further than you have to. Because I don’t want us to get into something that has to escalate … on a tit for tat. You follow me, Ambassador?” Flynn said, according to a copy of the transcripts obtained by The Hill.

“You might appreciate the sentiments that are raging in Moscow,” Kislyak replied to Flynn’s request.

“I know, I – I believe me, I do appreciate it, I very much appreciate it,” Flynn said.

Donald Trump Campaigns In Colorado Ahead Of Final Presidential Debate
Getty Images – Getty
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting outside Moscow
Reuters

“But I really don’t want us to get into a situation where we’re going, you know, where we do this and then you do something bigger, and then you know, everybody’s got to go back and forth and everybody’s got to be the tough guy.”

When Flynn and Kislyak follow up two days later, Kislyak emphasized that Russian President Vladimir Putin opted not to escalate the sanction reaction because of his conversation with Flynn.

Kislyak argued that the Obama administrations sanctions were aimed at taking down the incoming Trump administrations equally as much as they were damaging Russia.

Flynn previously denied that he discussed sanctions with Kislyak when the FBI quizzed him but the transcripts would appear to show that he did talk about them.

Flynn and Kislyak’s chats put Trump’s former aide firmly at the center of the Russia counterintelligence investigation.

Trump sacked Flynn a month into his administration
Reuters

Splash News

Declassified emails state that Obama told Comey to conduct the investigation into Flynn ‘by the book’[/caption]

Less than a month into Trump’s presidency, Flynn was fired for misleading Vice President Pence about these conversations.

Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to federal agents about them before trying to reverse the plea last year, claiming he was coerced by officials.

Richard Grenell was the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) until Ratcliffe was sworn into the role on Monday.

In a Twitter statement on Thursday, Grenell said: “I declassified the ones we had. There’s a process – they are coming.”

Earlier this month, the ODNI also declassified a list of US officials, produced by the National Security Agency (NSA), who made “unmasking” requests to reveal Flynn’s name – and Joe Biden was one of them.

Biden was one of the officials listed as wanting an ‘unmasking’ of Flynn
AP:Associated Press
Flynn reacts at a campaign event for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Virginia Beach
Reuters

ODNI also declassified an email the former national security adviser Susan Rice sent to herself and to a worker detailing an Oval Office conversation relating to Flynn and Kislyak.

Ex-FBI Director James Comey then told Obama that he was worried about sharing classified material with Flynn but had no evidence to back up his suspicion, according to Rice’s email.

Rice had called for the full declassification of the email, and since called for declassification of the call transcripts.

According to her email Obama told Comey to conduct the investigation “by the book.”

But Trump has argued that his predecessor had committed an unspecified crime against his administration.

He declared that Obama “probably directed” US intelligence agencies to spy on him after pushing his “Obamagate” theory.

Trump claimed the former POTUS likely “directed the US Intelligence agencies to spy” on him in an interview with Fox Business‘ Maria Bartiromo that aired earlier this month.

“Yes, he probably directed them,” Trump said when questioned by Bartiromo about investigations.

“If he didn’t direct them, he knew everything.”

Trump has claimed Obama 'probably' directed US agencies to spy on him
Fox News

Trump has claimed Obama ‘probably’ directed US agencies to spy on him[/caption]

Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally in Miami in November 2018
AP:Associated Press

Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally in Miami in November 2018[/caption]

Former FBI Director James Comey testified at a hearing on Capitol Hill on June 8, 2017
Getty – Contributor

Former FBI Director James Comey testified at a hearing on Capitol Hill on June 8, 2017[/caption]

National Intelligence Director James Clapper testifies in Washington DC on May 8, 2017
AP:Associated Press

National Intelligence Director James Clapper testifies in Washington DC on May 8, 2017[/caption]

Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies before the House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Task Force on May 23, 2017
AP:Associated Press

Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies before the House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Task Force on May 23, 2017[/caption]

Link

(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply