Former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse following a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court December 18, 2018 in Washington, DC.
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Transcripts of calls between former national security advisor Michael Flynn and Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States weeks before President Donald Trump’s inauguration were publicly released Friday.
The retired Army lieutenant general Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak.
Earlier this month, the Department of Justice moved to drop its case against Flynn.
“As the Director of National Intelligence, it is my obligation to review declassification requests with the overarching priority of protecting sources and methods, while also providing transparency whenever possible,” John Ratcliffe, Trump’s new Director of National Intelligence, said in a statement.
“Accordingly, today the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declassified transcripts concerning Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn,” Ratcliffe said.
The transcript of a Dec. 29, 2016, call shows Flynn advising Kislyak that Russia should only respond in a proportional manner to any actions the Obama administration takes against the country before Trump is inaugurated.
The Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia that day in response to the country’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
“What I would ask Russia to do is to not -is – is -if anything – because I know you have to have some sort of action – to, to only make it reciprocal,” Flynn told Kislyak. “Make it reciprocal. Don’t -don’t make it-don’t go any further than you have to. Because I don’t want us to get into something that has to escalate, on a, you know, on a tit for tat.”
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