The FBI interviewed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn during the first days of President Donald Trump’s administration about Flynn’s conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, according to a report by the New York Times.
Current and former officials told the New York Times that FBI agents interviewed Flynn about his calls with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before former acting Attorney General Sally Yates brought the matter to the attention of the White House counsel.
Flynn resigned late Monday, days after reports revealed that he discussed sanctions with Kislyak in a phone call before Trump took office. This contradicted members of Trump’s administration, including Vice President Mike Pence, who previously denied that Flynn and Kislyak spoke about sanctions.
At his daily briefing Tuesday afternoon, Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer blamed the Justice Department for not notifying the White House sooner of discrepancies in Flynn’s account of the calls.
“Where was the Department of Justice in this?” Spicer asked. “They didn’t notify the White House counsel’s office until Jan. 26th.”
Per the New York Times’ report, Yates notified the White House “shortly after the F.B.I. interview.”
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that FBI Director James Comey was behind the delay.
Comey said he did not want to notify Trump about Flynn’s misrepresentations because it would complicate the agency’s investigation, according to the Washington Post, but dropped his objections after Spicer addressed questions about Flynn’s calls with Kislyak in his first daily briefing from the White House.