Congressional Democrats on Friday called for an investigation into whether White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions in phone calls with Russia’s ambassador while President Barack Obama was still in office.
Conversations that may have broken U.S. law aimed at barring private citizens from conducting diplomacy.
The White House said President Donald Trump had “full confidence” in Flynn, a show of support coming as the administration scrambled to manage the fallout from reports that Flynn addressed U.S. sanctions against Russia in a phone call late last year.
The report contradicted both Flynn’s previous denials, as well as those made by Vice President Mike Pence in a televised interview.
Democratic Sens. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Chris Murphy of Connecticut called for an investigation of Flynn. Other Democrats demanded that Trump fire the retired U.S. Army lieutenant general.
“He lied — repeatedly and egregiously — about his actions,” Reps. Ruben Gallego of Arizona and Ted Lieu of California said.
Two other Democrats, Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, sent a letter to U.S. intelligence officials requesting a review of Flynn’s security clearance. They said the reports of his calls to the Russian ambassador contribute to “questions concerning his suitability for continued access to classified information.”
A Trump administration official told The Associated Press Friday that Flynn “can’t be certain” sanctions did not come up on the call. The official said Flynn has “no recollection” of discussing the sanctions, but left open the possibility that the issue did come up when he spoke with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition.
The Kremlin denied Friday that Flynn and Kislyak discussed the sanctions before Trump took office.