Defense Intelligence Agency director U.S. Army Lt. General Michael Flynn testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on "Worldwide Threats" in Washington February 4, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/File photo
President Donald Trump said Thursday Michael Flynn was “just doing his job” when he called the Russian ambassador following the election, and did nothing wrong on the call itself.
“The first thing I thought of when I heard about [Flynn] is how does the press get this information that’s classified?” Trump said at a press conference, referring to news that Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the call. “How do they do it? You know why? Because it is a illegal process and the press should be ashamed of themselves.”
Flynn resigned after news broke he had lied to Pence about the call, on which he discussed sanctions with Russia in possible violation of the law. The White House has maintained he did nothing wrong, but lost the trust of the administration.
“When I looked at the information I said I don’t think he did anything wrong,” Trump added. “If anything, he did something right. I was coming into office. He looked at the information. He said, huh, that’s fine. That’s what they are supposed to do. They are supposed to — he didn’t just call Russia. He called and spoke to … I think there were 30 some odd countries … He was just doing his job.”
“The thing is, he didn’t tell our vice president properly,” he continued. “And then he said he didn’t remember. So either way, it wasn’t very satisfactory to me. And I have somebody that I think will be outstanding for the position.”
Trump has asked retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward to succeed Flynn.
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