PAPER: Why The Comey FBI Cleared General Flynn’s Calls With Russian Ambassador

On Friday, Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about making contact with Russian Ambassador Kislyak during the transition period. In a stunning twist, the Trump White House revealed to CNN that the calls were approved by the Obama administration. 

The Hill reports:

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, according to CNN. 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 Russian election meddling. […] “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.

“We should point out, that is something that we have not heard before in terms of a defense from this White House,” Acosta then bitterly noted.

It’s important to note that not only did the Obama administration clear the calls, but the FBI under then-Director James Comey found no evidence of wrongdoing in making contact with Russian officials back in January.

Washington Post reports:

The FBI in late December reviewed intercepts of communications between the Russian ambassador to the United States and retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn — national security adviser to then-President-elect Trump — but has not found any evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government, U.S. officials said.

The calls were picked up as part of routine electronic surveillance of Russian officials and agents in the United States, which is one of the FBI’s responsibilities, according to the U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss counterintelligence operations.

H/T Kambree Kawahine Koa

As The Young Turks’ Michael Tracey pointed out, Flynn was tasked with tampering down tensions between the U.S. and Russia.

“Grand irony: the underlying action that Flynn now admits he lied to the FBI about was urging de-escalation with a nuclear power, which is now no longer permissible,” tweeted Tracey.

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