Hours after retired army general Michael Flynn was sworn in as national security advisor on Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Flynn’s communication with Russian officials have been—and possibly still are—under investigation by U.S. intelligence agencies.
Sources told the WSJ that the agencies are taking a look at several conversations Flynn has had with Russian officials, most notably a set of phone calls he made to Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the U.S., to determine the nature of Flynn’s relationship with Russian officials and whether the communications violate any laws. The calls to Kislyak took place on December 29, the same day that the Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats and announced sanctions against Russia in retaliation for its alleged use of cyberwarfare against the DNC and interference with the 2016 election.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the former spokesman for Trump’s transition team, said earlier in January that the conversations between Flynn and Kislyak focused on coordinating a conversation between Trump and Vladimir Putin.
The inquiry is part of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Treasury Department into potential ties between Trump’s associates and Russian officials. The collective agencies have also examined activity between Russian officials and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and advisers Roger Stone and Carter Page. Flynn is the first person in White House to be included in the investigation. However, the length of Flynn’s investigation, its current status, and what incriminating evidence it has produced, if any, is unknown.
In a statement delivered on Sunday night, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told the WSJ, “We have absolutely no knowledge of any investigation or even a basis for such an investigation.”