President Trump changes story about Michael Flynn - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

President Trump changes story about Michael Flynn

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • 420's long, strange trip to pot holiday began in California

    420's long, strange trip to pot holiday began in California

    Friday, April 20 2018 10:37 AM EDT2018-04-20 14:37:36 GMT
    (AP Photo/Eric Risberg). In this Friday, April 13, 2018, photo, the Waldos, from left, Mark Gravitch, Larry Schwartz, Dave Reddix, Steve Capper and Jeffrey Noel pose below a statue of Louis Pasteur at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, Calif. Friday...(AP Photo/Eric Risberg). In this Friday, April 13, 2018, photo, the Waldos, from left, Mark Gravitch, Larry Schwartz, Dave Reddix, Steve Capper and Jeffrey Noel pose below a statue of Louis Pasteur at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, Calif. Friday...
    Where are The Waldos? Not far from the San Francisco Bay Area high school where in 1971 the five buddies' search for a marijuana patch gave birth to the term 420, now the date for marijuana's high holiday and...More >>
    Where are The Waldos? Not far from the San Francisco Bay Area high school where in 1971 the five buddies' search for a marijuana patch gave birth to the term 420, now the date for marijuana's high holiday and universal slang for smoking weed.More >>
  • Columbine, Parkland students unite for voter registration

    Columbine, Parkland students unite for voter registration

    Friday, April 20 2018 10:37 AM EDT2018-04-20 14:37:16 GMT
    (AP Phoot/David Zalubowski, File). FILE - In this March 14, 2018, file photograph, an orange ribbons adorns a fence after it was tied there by a student during a walkout to protest gun violence on the soccer field behind Columbine High School in Little...(AP Phoot/David Zalubowski, File). FILE - In this March 14, 2018, file photograph, an orange ribbons adorns a fence after it was tied there by a student during a walkout to protest gun violence on the soccer field behind Columbine High School in Little...
    While students across US plan walkouts for Columbine anniversary, a quiet day of service planned for students at Colorado school.More >>
    While students across US plan walkouts for Columbine anniversary, a quiet day of service planned for students at Colorado school.More >>
  • Judge to hear arguments about delaying Stormy Daniels case

    Judge to hear arguments about delaying Stormy Daniels case

    Friday, April 20 2018 10:36 AM EDT2018-04-20 14:36:53 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file). FILE - In this April 16, 2018, file photo, adult film actress Stormy Daniels speaks outside federal court in New York. A federal judge is set to hear arguments about whether to delay the case of Daniels, who claims she h...(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file). FILE - In this April 16, 2018, file photo, adult film actress Stormy Daniels speaks outside federal court in New York. A federal judge is set to hear arguments about whether to delay the case of Daniels, who claims she h...
    President Donald Trump's lawyer, whose office was raided by the FBI last week, is seeking to delay a court case brought by a porn actress who claims she had an affair with the president.More >>
    President Donald Trump's lawyer, whose office was raided by the FBI last week, is seeking to delay a court case brought by a porn actress who claims she had an affair with the president.More >>
WASHINGTON (AP) -

President Donald Trump changed his story Saturday on why he fired Michael Flynn as his national security adviser, now suggesting he knew at the time that Flynn had lied to the FBI as well as to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russians during the presidential transition.

That was a turnabout from his initial explanations that Flynn had to go because he hadn't been straight with Pence about those contacts. Lying to the FBI is a crime, and one that Flynn acknowledged Friday in pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with the special counsel's Russia investigation.

Trump's tweet: "I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!"

Amid questions raised by the tweet, Trump associates tried to put distance Saturday evening between the president himself and the tweet. One person familiar with the situation said the tweet was actually crafted by John Dowd, one of the president's personal attorneys. Dowd declined to comment when reached by The Associated Press on Saturday night.

In another email wrinkle in the investigation into Trump's ties to Russia, The New York Times reported Saturday that emails among top Trump transition officials suggested that Flynn was in close contact with other senior members of the transition team before and after he spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. A Dec. 29 email from K.T. McFarland, a transition adviser to Trump, suggested that Russian sanctions announced by the Obama administration had been aimed at discrediting Trump's victory.

She wrote the sanctions could also make it more difficult for Trump to ease tensions with Russia, "which has just thrown the U.S.A. election to him," she wrote in the emails obtained by the Times. A White House attorney told the newspaper McFarland only meant that Democrats were portraying it that way.

It's unclear why Trump would cite lying to the FBI as a reason for firing Flynn. Doing so suggests the president knew at the time that Flynn had done something that is against the law, and therefore the investigation could not be as frivolous as he's been portraying.

It's also unclear how he would know that, if information about Russian contacts had not reached him, as he has been implying in his own defense.

Flynn left the White House in February, only acknowledging that he had given an incomplete account to Pence of his conversations with Kislyak. After Trump forced Flynn out, he asked FBI Director James Comey to end the bureau's probe in the matter, according to Comey's account. Comey refused, and Trump fired him, too.

Then-White House spokesman Sean Spicer said after Flynn's firing that it was the result of a "trust issue" and the White House counsel's office had determined there was not a legal issue.

"Whether or not he actually misled the vice president was the issue, and that was ultimately what led to the president asking for and accepting the resignation of Gen. Flynn," Spicer told reporters on Feb. 14. "That's it, pure and simple. It was a matter of trust."

Trump has been publicly dismissive of Comey and of special counsel Robert Mueller's continuing investigation, and was often generous in his appraisal of Flynn, except to say his adviser could not stay on the job after misleading his vice president.

At the time, Pence said Trump was justified in firing Flynn because Flynn had lied to him. Neither Trump nor Pence indicated concern then that the FBI had not been told the true story.

Pence, who served as head of Trump's transition, has not publicly commented on Flynn's plea.
 

Powered by Frankly