Howard Baker’s Words and the Flynn Controversy

They talked about the Obama sanctions against Russia for intervening in the U.S. presidential election that were announced Dec. 29, which included forcing 35 Russian diplomats to leave the U.S. and adding Putin associates and Russian intelligence elements to the sanctions list.

 

Did Flynn, who was meeting regularly with Trump, report to the President-elect about his conversations with Kislyak? He must have reported what went on with some colleagues, and probably the President, because they also discussed timing of a phone call between the two leaders and possible American attendance at a Syrian peace conference Russia, Turkey, and Iran were arranging for Jan. 23.

 

On Dec. 30, Putin publicly called Obama’s sanctions a “provocation,” but nevertheless he did not respond as usual – tit for tat — by ejecting American diplomats from Russia. Instead, Putin even invited U.S. Embassy children to a holiday party in Moscow.

 

Hours after Putin’s unusual response was reported, President-elect Trump, at 2:41 p.m., Dec. 30, tweeted, “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!”

 

Was Flynn consulted about that tweet?

 

The December Flynn-Kislyak exchanges were not publicly disclosed until Jan. 12, when Washington Post columnist David Ignatius first wrote about them. In that very first column, Ignatius questioned, “did it [the Flynn-Kislyak exchange] undercut U.S. sanctions?”

 

 

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