The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Tuesday that the nomination of former White House Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland would be “frozen for a while” in light of revelations that she knew about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s communications with Russia’s ambassador to the United States prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“If she did testify inappropriately, obviously that’s a big, big problem,” Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) told CNN’s Manu Raju.
He added: “It’s a problem. And her nomination is frozen for a while, until that gets worked out. And she has to know that herself, and we’ll deal with it at the appropriate time.”
McFarland joined Trump’s national security team in November 2016 and served as the President’s deputy national security adviser before resigning and being nominated as the United States’ ambassador to Singapore over the summer.
During the confirmation process for that post, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) asked McFarland if she had ever spoken to Flynn about his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. McFarland said: “I am not aware of any of the issues or events described above.”
But McFarland was identified Saturday by the Associated Press as the “senior official of the presidential transition team” who Flynn called following the Obama administration’s new sanctions against Russia. Flynn and the senior official, according to the documents, “discussed that members of the Presidential Transition Team at Mar-a-Lago did not want Russia to escalate the situation.”
After that call, according to the charging document, Flynn called Kislyak, and then reported back to the senior official, identified as McFarland by the AP.
And on Monday, the New York Times reported on an email exchange “obtained from someone who had access to transition team communications” that showed McFarland had knowledge of Flynn’s outreach.
The Times reported: “As part of the outreach, Ms. McFarland wrote, Mr. Flynn would be speaking with the Russian ambassador, Mr. Kislyak, hours after Mr. Obama’s sanctions were announced.”
McFarland joins a growing list of Trump officials facing mounting evidence that they knew of Flynn’s communications with Russia’s ambassador while claiming ignorance of them.
h/t The Hill