After former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russian officials, US media outlets are reporting that US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was the “very senior” member of Trump’s transition team who instructed Flynn to contact them. Kushner reportedly told Flynn to try to get the Russians to delay or cancel the December 2016 vote on Resolution 2334.
Jared Kusher Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner instructed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to contact Russian officials about a UN Security Council vote concerning Israeli settlements, US media outlets reported on Friday. Kushner told Flynn to try to get the Russians to delay or cancel the December 2016 vote on Resolution 2334, which determined that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal. The US administration abstained from the vote.
Flynn, the first former senior Trump administration official to be charged in the Russian election meddling investigation, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI on Friday as part of a plea deal. Flynn admitted, among other things, that a “very senior” member of Trump’s transition team told him to contact the Russian government about the UNSC vote. Flynn also promised to fully cooperate in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as part of his plea deal.
In order to cancel the vote, Kushner instructed Flynn to reach out to then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak and ask him to convince the Kremlin to veto the vote. In response to the reports, Flynn issued a statement: “I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right. My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
The White House responded to the reports by claiming that the Obama administration approved the communications between Flynn and Kislyak, according to CNN. Jim Acosta, the CNN correspondent who obtained the response, said that this is the first time that the Trump administration has invoked Obama’s White House as a defense.