January 23, 2017 U.S. counterintelligence agents from the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency and Treasury Department are investigating communications between President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, on December 29, the same day the Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia in retaliation for its interference in the 2016 presidential election.
According to a CNN report, intelligence sources said audio communications were collected from “routine US eavesdropping targeting the Russian diplomats,” during an investigation into allegations that Russia interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. On December 9, 2016, the CIA concluded after an unprecedented secret assessment of a U.S. presidential election — that Russia did intervene in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win.
During his first official press briefing on Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Trump is willing to work with any partner in combating ISIS, including Russia. Spicer told reporters that President Trump hasn’t ordered intelligence agencies to stop investigating potential ties between his administration and Russia. Previously, Spicer said Flynn spoke once to the Russian diplomat on December 28 or 29. On Monday, Spicer said a second call took place three days ago, apparently just before Trump’s inauguration on Friday, and dealt with arranging a forthcoming phone call between Trump and Putin.
Later on Monday, the White House responded to reports that U.S. counterintelligence agents are scrutinizing five calls between Retired Army Lt. General Michael Flynn and Russia’s ambassador to Washington, saying there were only two phone calls. The Trump administration denied any wrongdoing in the calls. On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal quoted White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders as saying: “We have absolutely no knowledge of any investigation or even a basis for such an investigation.”
Check back for details regarding the investigation into communications between President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, as more information is made available.
Cynthia Hodges holds a M.A. in Political Science from NEIU in Chicago, Illinois and a Post-Grad Professional Certificate in Disaster and Terrorism Management from University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill. In addition to a successful writing career, Cynthia is in the process of writing a book on the role of private security guards as first responders in the post 9/11 America. "My career has been a balance of security and education, and my passion for Homeland Security while protecting individual's Constitutional rights has grown as a result of the two."