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>> Contrary to what White House officials initially claimed, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn privately discussed US sanctions against Russia with Moscow's ambassador to the US before Trump took office, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. Citing unnamed current and former US officials, the Post said some senior officials interpreted the contacts as a potentially illegal signal to Russia, that it could expect a reprieve from sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in December.
Reuters cannot immediately confirm the report. Reuters reported last month, citing three sources familiar with the matter, that Flynn had held five calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak on December 29th, the day President Obama retaliated from Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election. The Post said Flynn on Wednesday denied he had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador, but on Thursday backed away from the denial through a spokesman.
Flynn, quote, indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up, the Post quoted the spokesman as saying. According to the paper, officials said this week that the FBI is continuing to examine Flynn's contact with Kislyak.