The phone calls with the Russian ambassador that led to Michael Flynn’s ouster as national security adviser were an afterthought Thursday as Attorney General Jeff Sessions stepped in front of TV cameras and addressed revelations that he had met twice with that envoy during the campaign.
So it was a good moment for the White House to confirm to the New York Times that, in addition to those calls, Flynn met with ambassador Sergey Kislyak for about 20 minutes at Trump Tower in December.
Spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the Times that Flynn, in addition to President Trump’s advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, met with Kislyak to build a relationship and “establish a line of communication.”
Flynn resigned last month and apologized for not informing the President and Vice President Mike Pence about the substance of the calls he had with Kislyak before inauguration. Reports that Flynn had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with the envoy contradicted statements from Flynn and the White House denying he had done so.