Flynn questioned by FBI shortly after taking office

Officials say FBI agents interviewed Michael Flynn shortly after he took office as National Security Adviser.

Ben Ariel ,

Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn

FBI agents interviewed Michael Flynn shortly after he took office as National Security Adviser about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, current and former officials told The New York Times on Tuesday.

While it is not clear what he said in his FBI interview, investigators believed Flynn was not entirely forthcoming, the officials said. If the authorities conclude that he knowingly lied to the FBI, it could expose him to a felony charge.

The report comes a day after President Donald Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation, amid reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, which included discussion of U.S. sanctions.

Flynn maintained publicly for more than a week after his interview that his conversations with the ambassador had been innocuous and did not involve sanctions against Russia, noted The New York Times.

Shortly after the FBI interview, on January 26, then acting attorney general, Sally Yates, warned the White House that Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail because of inconsistencies between what he had said publicly and what intelligence officials knew to be true.

It is unclear whether Flynn had a lawyer for his interview with the FBI or whether anyone at the White House, including lawyers there, knew the interview was happening, according to the report.

Even after FBI agents interviewed Flynn and Yates warned the White House, Flynn denied yet again — this time to The Washington Post on Wednesday — that he had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

Earlier on Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump had asked Flynn to resign because of an “erosion of trust” and not because Flynn broke any laws.

He stressed the White House had reviewed the situation and determined that Flynn did not violate any laws during his call with the Russian ambassador.