Emails show Trump officials were fully aware that Flynn was talking to Russians
Donald Trump and Mike Flynn (cnn.com)

A trove of emails obtained by The New York Times shows that officials in President Donald Trump's campaign and transition teams were fully aware that now-ousted national security adviser Mike Flynn was in contact with officials from the Russian government -- in spite of their public insistence that Flynn was acting alone.


"In fact, the emails, coupled with interviews and court documents filed on Friday, showed that Mr. Flynn was in close touch with other senior members of the Trump transition team both before and after he spoke with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, about American sanctions against Russia," said the Times.

On Dec. 29, deputy national security director K. T. McFarland told a friend via email that Russia had just "thrown the election" to Trump over his rival, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The emails obtained by the Times show a concerted effort by the Trump transition team to soothe Russia's misgivings about the sanctions and assure the rival nation that the U.S. doesn't mean it any harm.

"The Trump advisers feared that a cycle of retaliation between the United States and Russia would keep the spotlight on Moscow’s election meddling, tarnishing Mr. Trump’s victory and potentially hobbling his presidency from the start," the Times reported.

McFarland told now-Homeland Security official Tom Bossert in emails that Flynn would be meeting with Russian ambassador to the U.S. -- and purported Kremlin spymaster -- Sergey Kislyak in an attempt to smooth things over with President Vladimir Putin's administration.

Bossert forwarded McFarland's notice that Flynn was meeting with Kisylak to six other top figures in the White House transition team including Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon and Sean Spicer. All three of those now-former White House officials have publicly denied any knowledge that Flynn was in communication with Russian officials.