A former White House official has revised her statement to the FBI regarding whether or not former national security adviser Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with her following his conversations with a Russian ambassador, The Washington Post reports.
K.T. McFarland, Flynn’s former deputy, allegedly told the FBI that Flynn may have been referring to sanctions during a discussion in December 2016, when he made a general statement about things going to be okay. Last year, she had told investigators that she never spoke with Flynn about any conversation he may have had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak regarding sanctions, but this statement was “inconsistent” with the FBI’s information, the Post reports.
McFarland revised her statement “not long after” Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts in late 2017, says the Post, claiming she misremembered the conversation.
However, court papers connected to Flynn’s plea state a senior Trump transition official was directly involved with strategizing for the Kislyak calls, and sources familiar with the case told the Post this official was McFarland.
“Flynn and [McFarland] discussed the U.S. sanctions, including the potential impact of those sanctions on the incoming administration’s foreign policy goals,” reads the plea document, which refers to McFarland as a transition team official, says the Post.
Before McFarland amended her statement, she withdrew her nomination as ambassador to Singapore after Senators pointed out the discrepancies between her statement and Flynn’s plea, The Hill reports.
Senator Cory Booker called the statements’ contradictions “an alarming development” at the time, according to The Hill, adding that it’s “another example of a pattern of deception on the part of Trump’s closest associates regarding their connections and communications to Russian government officials.”