Democrats, doubting that either Trump's Justice Department or the Republican-led Congress will pursue the matter vigorously, demanded an independent investigation of possible illegal communications between Flynn and the Russian government and any efforts by Flynn or other White House officials to hide wrongdoing. Flynn resigned as President Donald Trump's national security advis.
But the top Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives have insisted the matter be investigated by existing Republican-led committees. Trump is also considering former CIA Director David Petraeus and Vice Admiral Robert Harward, a U.S. Navy SEAL, for the post, according to a senior administration official.
The administration's relationship with Russian Federation drew renewed attention on Monday after the resignation of Michael Flynn as president Trump's National Security Adviser.
The Times, citing current and former US officials, said USA law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they discovered Russian Federation was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee.
The vice president, who had vouched for Flynn in a televised interview, is said to have been angry and deeply frustrated.
This morning President Trump tweeted, "The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?". FILE- In this February 1, 2017, file photo, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington.
But Trump says in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he thinks "it's really a sad thing" that Flynn "was treated so badly".
"The goal is to blow up the Trump administration".
January 13 - A senior US official tells The Associated Press that the Obama administration is aware of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak, including one on December 29.
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He's also going after those who have leaked information to the press, describing it as a "criminal act".
Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee at the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said in a post on Facebook that firing a national security adviser for his contacts with Russia is "not just paranoia but something even worse".
In late December, routine surveillance of Russian officials and operatives picked up Flynn's voice on a call with Sergey Kislyak. Pence spokesman Marc Lotter said Pence became aware that he had received "incomplete information" from Flynn only after the first Washington Post report Thursday night.
Flynn maintained for weeks that he had not discussed USA sanctions in his conversations with Russia's ambassador.
Trump asked the former Army lieutenant general to resign Monday night amid revelations he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian Federation while President Barack Obama was still in office.
"Absolutely not; no, no, no", Spicer said.
"It is not clear whether Mr. Flynn had a lawyer for his interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or whether anyone at the White House, including lawyers there, knew the interview was happening", the Times reported.
Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said, "The American people deserve to know at whose direction Gen. Flynn was acting when he made these calls, and why the White House waited until these reports were public to take action".
In 2010, Flynn authored a controversial report that claimed the US intelligence community was not studying relevant information required to fight foreign enemies.