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    Retired Gen. Michael Flynn and  Donald Trump (File)

    Flynn Denies Discussing the Lifting of Anti-Russian Sanctions With Russia

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    Hours before his resignation, former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said there were no negotiations on anti-Russia sanctions lifting between him and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak in December 2016.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) On Monday night, Flynn announced his decision to leave the national security adviser post amid the growing controversy surrounding information leaked to the media about his conversations with Kislyak prior to Trump's inauguration.

    "It wasn’t about sanctions. It was about the 35 guys who were thrown out [in December, Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats over Moscow's alleged interference in the presidential elections]. So that’s what it turned out to be. It was basically, ‘Look, I know this happened. We’ll review everything.’ I never said anything such as, ‘We’re going to review sanctions,’ or anything like that," Flynn told The Daily Caller news outlet.

    He added that leaking classified information to a reporter constitute a crime.

    "In some of these cases, you’re talking about stuff that’s taken off of a classified system and given to a reporter. That’s a crime. You call them leaks. It’s a criminal act," Flynn stressed.

    Former adviser also questioned the motive behind the leak which led to his resignation.

    "One has to wonder, ‘Are they coming out of people in the National Security Council? Are they coming out of people in the intel community? Or State? Or Defense?'" he asked.

    Flynn’s phone communications with Kislyak have raised questions about whether the he broke the Logan Act of 1799 that prohibits private US citizens from engaging with foreign nations in diplomatic disputes. To date, no American has been penalized for violating the Logan Act.

    On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Flynn's resignation was a domestic matter in the United States that merits no further comments.

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    Related:

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    anti-Russian sanctions, Michael Flynn, United States
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