President Donald Trump late last year sent out a tweet praising Russian president Vladimir Putin for not retaliating against the United States for leveling sanctions on the Russian government -- just one day after former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn advised former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to not retaliate.
According to the plea filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia by the special counsel's office on Friday, Flynn talked with Kislyak on December 29 last year about sanctions that were leveled against Russia by the outgoing Obama administration.
Specifically, Flynn asked Kislyak to "refrain from escalating" tensions between the countries in the wake of the new sanctions. According to the special counsel's office, Kislyak replied that Russia had "chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request."
The next day, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his government would not immediately retaliate against the United States, despite his condemnation of the sanctions.
Trump subsequently praised Putin for his intelligence.
"Great move on delay (by V. Putin)," Trump wrote. "I always knew he was very smart!"
Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1483126893.0
The tweet was subsequently retweeted by the Russian embassy's official Twitter account, as The Hill reported last year.