06:59 GMT04 July 2020
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    Former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's phone conversation with Russian ambassador could help the administration of President Donald Trump to avoid unnecessary tensions with the Kremlin over sanctions against diplomats, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes told reporters on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Flynn announced his decision to leave his post on February 13 after media reported based on leaked information that he had misled the Trump administration about the extent of his talks with the Russian ambassador.

    The ex-national security adviser did not concede any wrongdoing in the resignation letter, saying that he inadvertently briefed Vice President Mike Pence and others with incomplete information regarding the communications.

    "If what General Flynn did was just trying to keep lines of communication open, and to make sure the Russians will not overreact and maybe have some reciprocal attacks on our diplomats and embassies around the world, that did us a big favor and we should be thanking him, not going after him," Nunes stated.

    When holding discussions about sanctions with the Russian official, Flynn acted in line with his responsibilities as officials of previous administrations did in the past, Nunes added.

    The lawmaker pointed out that former President Barack Obama also tried to establish working relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but these attempts turned out not to be successful after all.

    On December 30, then-US President Barack Obama announced new sanctions against several Russian organizations, including the FSB, and individuals in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged hacking into US political institutions. Washington is expelling 35 Russian diplomats on spying charges and is closing down two Russian-owned compounds in the US.

    Russian officials have repeatedly denied the US allegations of election interference, characterizing them as absurd and laughable nonsense. Moreover, they have said such allegations are intended to deflect US public attention from revelations of corruption and other pressing domestic concerns.


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    Sergei Kislyak, Donald Trump, Devin Nunes, General Michael Flynn, United States
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