Trump 'Evaluating Situation' Involving Flynn, Russia

White House gives an update
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 13, 2017 7:38 PM CST
FILE- In this Feb. 1, 2017, file photo, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. President Donald Trump has yet to comment on the...   (Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) – President Donald Trump is "evaluating the situation" regarding his embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn's conversations with Russia's ambassador to the US, the White House said Monday, deepening the uncertainty surrounding Flynn's future in the new administration. Flynn apologized privately for the controversy to Vice President Mike Pence, according to a White House official. Pence, relying on information from Flynn, publicly vouched that the retired Army lieutenant general did not discuss US sanctions against Russia in calls late last year. Flynn has since told the White House that sanctions may have come up. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump was consulting with Pence about his conversations with the national security adviser.

Asked whether the president had been aware that Flynn might discuss sanctions with the Russian envoy, Spicer said, "no, absolutely not," the AP reports. Trump, who comments on a steady stream of issues on his Twitter feed, has been conspicuously silent about the matter since the Washington Post reported last week that Flynn had discussed sanctions with the Russian envoy. A US official told the AP that Flynn was in frequent contact with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on the day the Obama administration slapped sanctions on Russia for election-related hacking, as well as at other times during the transition. Earlier Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Trump had "full confidence" in Flynn. (Read more Michael Flynn stories.)

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