McFarland Lied to Senate Committee on Flynn and the Russians

Trump is shown later on Saturday returning from a stroll this time with her children

Trump is shown later on Saturday returning from a stroll this time with her children

The Kremlin insisted on Monday that conversations between President Donald Trump's former national security adviser and the Russian ambassador to the USA didn't influence Russian President Vladimir Putin's response to sanctions imposed by Trump's predecessor.

The email, obtained by The New York Times, sheds new light on McFarland's role in coordinating the transition team's attempts to convince Russia not to retaliate against the USA after President Barack Obama announced new sanctions and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats past year.

But emails obtained by The New York Times appear to undermine those statements.

McFarland served as deputy national security adviser until May, when she was nominated to be the ambassador to Singapore, an appointment that requires Senate confirmation.

McFarland reportedly wrote in the email that sanctions then-President Obama levied on Russian Federation in response to Moscow's election meddling would make it more hard for Trump to improve relations with Russian Federation, "which has just thrown the United States of America election to him". In a December 29 message about newly imposed Obama administration sanctions against Russia for its election interference, Ms. McFarland, then serving on Mr. Trump's transition team, told another transition official that Mr. Flynn would be talking to the Russian ambassador that evening.

In his written questions to ms McFarland, submitted as part of her confirmation process, Mr Booker wrote that Flynn had been warned by another transition official that his contacts with the Russian ambassador would most likely be intercepted by USA intelligence agencies.

The Times reported that it was unclear whether the transition official was saying she believed that the election had been thrown.

Booker also mentioned Flynn's 2015 trip to Moscow, where he attended a dinner hosted by a Kremlin-backed news network and was seated at the head table next to President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation.

A White House lawyer said on Friday that Ms McFarland did not mean Russian Federation had tipped the election, only that Democrats were portraying it that way.

Flynn had previously denied that he discussed sanctions with the Russian official, but later acknowledged that the issue came up. "Flynn could never ask Sergey Kislyak for anything, and furthermore these requests could never be passed on to the president of Russian Federation, this is completely absurd".

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