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Writing to the National Archives and Records Administration -- which maintains presidential records -- Obama's office specifically said that a request from Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Chuck Grassley of Iowa seeking administration documents related to Ukraine was improper. The letter was first reported by BuzzFeed.
Barack Obama warned his successor against hiring Michael Flynn. It was Nov. 10, 2016, just two days after Donald Trump upset Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. Trump told aide Hope Hicks that he was bewildered by the president’s warning. Of all the important things Obama could have discussed with him, the outgoing commander in chief wanted to talk about Michael Flynn.
Newly confirmed Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe on Friday declassified and released summaries of the December 2016 phone conversations between then-incoming National Security Advisor (NSA) Michael Flynn and then-Russian Ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak. The conversations formed the basis for the federal criminal charge of lying to the FBI, to which Flynn later pleaded guilty. According to attorneys and national security experts who have read the documents, however, the content of the calls appear to confirm that Flynn did, indeed, lie to federal authorities when he said he did not discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador.
The call summaries show Flynn telling Kislyak “not to allow [the Obama] administration to box us in right now,” and asking that Russia only take “reciprocal” actions in response to sanctions for election interference.
The most damning excerpt came during a December 29, 2016 call where the two spoke about sanctions in detail.
“[T]he idea is, be — if you — if you have to do something, do something on a reciprocal basis, meaning you know, on a sort of an even basis,” Flynn said later in the call. “Then that, then that is a good message and we’ll understand that message. And, and then, we know that we’re not going to escalate this thing, where we — where because if we put out — if we send out 30 guys and you send out 60, you know, or you shut down every Embassy, I mean we have to get this to a — let’s, let’s keep this at a level that uh is, is even-keeled, okay?”