February 13, 2017
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called on President Trump to fire his national security adviser amid anonymous accusations he discussed U.S. sanctions with the Russians before Trump took office.
“Michael Flynn’s conduct was alarming enough before his secret communications with the Russians were exposed,” said Pelosi, D-Calif. “Now, we have a national security adviser who cannot be trusted not to put Putin before America.”
“This administration has exhausted its excuses,” she added. “Vladimir Putin’s grip on President Trump must be investigated, exposed and broken. National security demands that Gen. Flynn be fired immediately.”
Democrats have seized on the anonymous claims, published in the Washington Post, as evidence of Russian influence over the Trump administration. The Post cited “current and former U.S. officials” in the story, which accused Flynn of discussing sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before the Trump took office.
“The conduct of the Trump White House speaks for itself. The reports of the Trump-Russia dossier gain credence with each passing day,” Pelosi said. “As long as Republicans refuse to compel the release of President Trump’s tax returns, they are complicit in covering up Russia’s financial, personal and political hold on the administration.”
Flynn has denied talking about sanctions with Kislyak but last week his spokesman told the Post “he couldn’t be certain that that topic never came up.”
A former high-level government official who has worked on national security for both parties but with no direct knowledge of the call told the Washington Examiner it would “not be surprising” if the Russians brought up the sanctions with Flynn even though Flynn had not taken office given that he was about to take over as national security adviser. The officials said it’s possible Flynn was fielding a call from Kislyak and Kislyak brought up the sanctions, not Flynn.