WASHINGTON (AP) — A list of key players relevant to the special counsel investigation into former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn:
MICHAEL T. FLYNN
A retired U.S. Army Lt. General and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration, Flynn served for less than a month as President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser. Flynn was fired in mid-February by Trump for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his phone discussions with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. Flynn’s misleading statements about his Russia contacts and his 2016 consulting work for a Turkish client both came under scrutiny by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Flynn admitted Friday to one count of making false statements about his contacts with Kislyak.
As Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Kislyak attended the 2016 Republican national convention in Cleveland, where Trump was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate. During the campaign, Kislyak met several Trump aides, including then-Sen. Jeff Sessions and foreign policy adviser Carter Page. After Trump’s election, Kislyak spoke by phone several times with Flynn in late December, and reportedly discussed economic sanctions put in place by the Obama administration. The calls were monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies and days after Trump took office in January, Flynn reportedly lied to FBI agents interviewing him about the Kislyak talks. Kislyak was replaced as Russia’s ambassador in July.
VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE
After media revelations in mid-January of Flynn’s talks with Kislyak, Flynn told Pence that his conversations with the Russian did not address U.S. sanctions against Russia. In several television news show appearances, Pence said that Flynn had assured him that he and Kislyak did not discuss sanctions. The White House later explained Flynn’s firing by saying he had lost the trust of both Trump and Pence.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
After naming Flynn to head the National Security Council in January, Trump reluctantly fired him less than a month later for misleading Michael Pence and other officials about whether he discussed Russia sanctions in post-election phone calls with Kislyak. Trump had known about the misstatements for nearly three weeks, but did not take action until the Washington Post reported Feb. 9 that Flynn and Kislyak had discussed sanctions. FBI Director James Comey later…