Rattled by the news that Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials, the White House said on Friday that it was the Obama administration that authorized former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during President Trump’s transition.
“They are saying here at the White House that Flynn’s conversations with Sergey Kisylak were quote ‘authorized’ by the Obama administration,” CNN correspondent Jim Acosta said. Former director of Defense Intelligence Agency James Clapper called the claim “Absurd'” Acosta added.
A senior WH official told CNN that the Obama admin "authorized" Flynn's conversation with Kislyak. But former DNI Clapper just told CNN that's "absurd."
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) December 1, 2017
Court records indicate that Flynn’s communications with Kislyak were directed by a Trump transition official, with multiple news outlets reporting that official was Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
“We should point out, that is something that we have not heard before in terms of a defense from this White House,” he said.
Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Kislyak in the month before Trump took office, the first current or former Trump White House official brought down by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling.