UPDATE Feb. 11 at 12:30pm:President Trump Friday told reporters on Air Force One he plans to "look into" reports that his national security adviser discussed U.S. sanctions with Russian officials before his inauguration.
The Kremlin has denied that Flynn and Kislyak discussed the sanctions before Trump took the Oval Office, the Associated Press reported.
National security adviser Michael Flynn reportedly talked US sanctions against Russia in a pre-Inauguration phone conversation with the country's ambassador, The Washington Post reports. According to the report, "nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters."
All of those officials said Flynn’s references to the election-related sanctions were explicit.
Kislyak was left with the impression that the sanctions would be revisited at a later time.
Flynn on Wednesday denied that he had discussed sanctions with Kislyak before President Trump took office. The next day, he walked back his denial saying, through a spokesperson, that "while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up."
In January, Vice President Mike Pence also denied that Trump's campaign had contact with Russia.
"Of course not," he told Fox News when asked about the claim. "Why would there be any contacts between the campaign?"
Did NSA director Michael Flynn violate the Logan Act?
Although it has rarely been enforced, some are questioning whether or not Flynn would be in violation of the Logan Act for discussing US sanctions on Russia during the election.
Logan Act definition (legal): a single federal statute making it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interests of the United States. Specifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization.
Reactions have been pouring in on Twitter...
Let's be clear: Mike Flynn violated Logan Act (on behalf of Trump) & he lied about it. VP may have lied too. We're in uncharted waters here.— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) February 10, 2017
If Flynn still has a WH job this time tomorrow, you know Trump cares more about what the Kremlin thinks than US law and American interests.— John Schindler (@20committee) February 10, 2017
Trump, in his first call as president with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, reportedly denounced a treaty that caps US and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads as a bad deal for the United States, according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of the call, Reuters reports.
New START gives both countries until February 2018 to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550, the lowest level in decades. It also limits deployed land- and submarine-based missiles and nuclear-capable bombers.
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