hese are chaotic and anxious days inside the National Security Council, the traditional center of management for a president’s dealings with an uncertain world.Three weeks into the Trump administration, council staff members get up in the morning, read President Trump’s Twitter posts and struggle to make policy to fit them. Most are kept in the dark about what Mr. Trump tells foreign leaders in his phone calls. Some staff members have turned to encrypted communications to talk with their colleagues, after hearing that Mr. Trump’s top advisers are considering an “insider threat” program that could result in monitoring cellphones and emails for leaks.
On a spring morning in 2016, the retired four-star general Mattis, who was forced out of his job by then-President Barack Obama, spoke before defence and foreign policy experts gathered just blocks from the White House. The 65-year old speaker, with silver hair and puffy eyes, was blunt. For all the dangers al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as ISIS) pose in the Middle East, he warned that the Iranian regime "is the single most enduring threat to stability and peace". He recalled that as commander of US troops in the Middle East, the first three questions he would ask his subordinates every morning "had to do with Iran and Iran and Iran". Nine months later, James Norman Mattis returned to the US capital as defence secretary of President Donald Trump.
National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said.
Amid a series of controversies around Russia-US links, the Republican-led House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has vowed to take action, but has ended up investigating freedom of the press instead. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the committee, proudly tweeted on Friday that his team was "taking the lead" on Russia intelligence, as well as the "mishandling of classified material" and issues surrounding former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who was forced out of the job in February, failed to list payments from Russia-linked entities on the first of two financial disclosure forms released Saturday by the Trump administration. The first form, which he signed in February, does not directly mention a paid speech he gave in Moscow, as well as other payments from companies linked to Russia. The second, an amended version, lists the names of the companies that made the payments under a section for any nongovernment compensation that exceeds $5,000 “in a year.” That list appears to include all of the work that Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, has done since leaving the military in 2014, without providing compensation figures for any of it.
Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has told the FBI and congressional committees investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.
The White House is refusing to provide congressional investigators with some of the documents they're requesting as part of an investigation into potential Trump campaign connections to Russia, and whether former national security adviser Mike Flynn disclosed payments from Russian companies when applying for his security clearance. The news comes as Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that Flynn might have broken the law by failing to disclose the foreign payments on official documents filed as part of the security clearance review process.
Ms. Yates, the former acting attorney general, gave a dramatic account of an unfolding crisis in the early days of President Trump’s White House. Less than a week into the Trump administration, Sally Q. Yates, the acting attorney general, hurried to the White House with an urgent concern. The president’s national security adviser, she said, had lied to the vice president about his Russian contacts and was vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.
President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting. “I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.
The decision came 10 days before Donald Trump had been sworn in as president, in a conversation with President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, who had explained the Pentagon’s plan to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa with Syrian Kurdish forces whom the Pentagon considered the U.S.’s most effective military partners. Obama’s national security team had decided to ask for Trump’s sign-off, since the plan would all but certainly be executed after Trump had become president. Flynn didn’t hesitate. According to timelines distributed by members of Congress in the weeks since, Flynn told Rice to hold off, a move that would delay the military operation for months.