Donald Trump's lawyer 'wrote incriminating tweet implying President knew Michael Flynn lied to FBI' - claims

Tweet suggests US President knew Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI when he fired him

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 03 December 2017 11:20 GMT
Michael Flynn: Fired Trump adviser's pleads guilty to Russia investigation charge

Donald Trump's tweet implying the President knew his National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, had lied to the FBI when he fired him, was actually crafted by his lawyer, sources close to the administration have reportedly said.

"I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies," the tweet, sent from the US President's account, said.

"It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!"

The tweet was actually written by John Dowd, the President's chief lawyer, sources told The Washington Post.

By citing lying to the FBI as a reason for firing Mr Flynn, the tweet suggests Mr Trump knew at the time Mr Flynn had done something to break the law.

Lying to the FBI is a crime - one which Mr Flynn acknowledged last Friday by pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

If Mr Dowd wrote the tweet, it could put some distance between Mr Trump himself and the tweet's content.

Mr Flynn left the White House in February, only acknowledging he had given an incomplete account to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kisylak.

Soon after Mr Trump forced Mr Flynn out, he asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end the bureau's investigation into the matter, saying he hoped he could "let this go," according to Mr Comey.

When Mr Comey refused, Mr Trump fired him.

Walter Shaub, the former director of the US Office of Government Ethics, said Mr Trump's tweet could amount to obstruction of justice.

Mr Trump turned to Twitter again later on Saturday night, railing about why Mr Flynn was prosecuted but Hillary Clinton was not for her alleged misdeeds.

He tweeted: "So General Flynn lies to the FBI and his life is destroyed, while Crooked Hillary Clinton, on that now famous FBI holiday 'interrogation' with no swearing in and no recording, lies many times... and nothing happens to her? Rigged system, or just a double standard?"

He then added: "Many people in our Country are asking what the 'Justice' Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and 'acid washed' 33,000 Emails? No justice!"

Mr Comey has said Ms Clinton did not lie to the FBI during her voluntary interview in July 2016, which was not recorded because she was not in custody.

In another tweet on Sunday morning, Mr Trump said: "I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!"

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