Spicer: Trump Wants Flynn To Testify, Despite Immunity Deal Tweet

AP

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday that President Donald Trump supports ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn testifying in front of the congressional intelligence committees, and would tell him to “take whatever precaution” his lawyer advises. Trump earlier Friday called the “media and Dems’” treatment of Flynn “a witch hunt.”

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal first reported that Flynn’s lawyer had requested an immunity deal for Flynn from the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the FBI. No one has taken Flynn up on the offer yet.

Trump on Friday morning advised Flynn to pursue an immunity deal in a tweet.

During his daily press briefing Friday, Spicer was asked by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl whether the President believed that Flynn was guilty of any crime, given that Trump has said frequently that asking for immunity implies guilt.

“He believes that Mike Flynn should go testify,” Spicer responded. “He thinks that he should go up there and do what he has to do to get the story out.”

“Wth or without immunity?” Karl asked.

“That’s up to him and his lawyer to decide,” Spicer said. “I’m not going to give Mike Flynn or anyone else legal advice from the podium, but I will tell you that the President’s view is he should go up there, he should testify.”

“But the President gave legal advice from his Twitter account,” Karl responded. “And he said in the past the only reason you ask for immunity is if you commit a crime.”

“The underlying point that you’re missing, Jonathan, respectfully, is that what he is asking is go testify,” Spicer said, ignoring Trump’s characterization on numerous occasions, including Friday, of the investigation into connections between his affiliates and Russia as a “witch hunt.”

“Get it out there,” Spicer said, representing Trump’s apparent position. “Do what you have to do to get there and tell Congress and tell everybody exactly what we’ve been saying for a long time. So I get your point, but I think that the interesting thing is if you actually stop for a second and realize what the President is doing, it’s that he’s saying do whatever you have to do to go up to make it clear what happened, take whatever precaution you want or however your legal counsel advises you.”

When he was asked later if the White House was worried Flynn might have damaging information to tell investigators, Spicer said simply: “No.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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