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Flashback: Watch Sean Spicer lie and say Flynn’s illegal sanctions call was ‘holiday greetings’ to Russia

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Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer reportedly knew he was lying when he told the press corps earlier this year that then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had not talked with Russians about easing sanctions.

The New York Times reported last week that K. T. McFarland, a top staffer on then-President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, wrote a Dec. 29, 2016 email accusing President Barack Obama’s administration of trying to undermine Trump by placing sanctions on Russia for its interference in the U.S. election. The email was eventually forward to Spicer and others on the transition team.

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“As part of the outreach, Ms. McFarland wrote, Mr. Flynn would be speaking with the Russian ambassador, Mr. Kislyak, hours after Mr. Obama’s sanctions were announced,” the Times noted.

McFarland argued that the sanctions would make it more difficult for Trump to make deals with Russia, “which has just thrown the U.S.A. election to him.”

During a Jan. 23 White House press conference, Spicer told a different story about Flynn’s talk with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, even though he seemingly should have known better.

“I talked to Gen. Flynn about this again last night,” Spicer explained to reporters at the time. “One call, [Flynn] talks about four subjects. “One was the loss of life in the plane crash that took the military choir, two was Christmas and holiday greetings, three was to talk about a conference in Syria and, four, was to set up — to talk about after the inauguration, setting up a call between President Putin and President Trump.”

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In October, Special Counselor Robert Mueller’s team reportedly grilled Spicer about President Trump’s reasons for firing former FBI Director James Comey and about Trump’s meetings with Russians. It was not immediately clear if investigators had questioned Spicer about Flynn’s dealings with Russia officials.

Watch the video below from The White House, broadcast Jan. 23, 2017.

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(h/t: Just_Security via Palmer Report)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Russia and China blast US missile test

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Russia and China warned Tuesday that a new US missile test had heightened military tensions and risked sparking an arms race, weeks after Washington ripped up a Cold War-era weapons pact with Moscow.

The US and Russia ditched the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty this month after accusing each other of violating the accord.

Washington said the agreement also tied its hands in dealing with other powers such as China.

The US Department of Defense announced on Monday it had tested a type of ground-launched missile that was banned under the 1987 INF agreement, which limited the use of nuclear and conventional medium-range weapons.

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Leaked audio shows oil lobbyist bragging about success in criminalizing pipeline protests

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"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Derrick Morgan of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.

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Trump’s latest attempt to smear Scaramucci dunked in mockery

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At least one White House or campaign staffer apparently helped President Donald Trump attack his short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci -- and he was met with mockery.

The president tweeted out a supercut video late Monday of Scaramucci defending Trump before his recent public disavowal, and attacked his former staffer as a "dope" who's seeking fame.

Nobody ever heard of this dope until he met me. He only lasted 11 days! pic.twitter.com/RzX3zjXzga

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019

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