'That was the quid pro quo': Ex-CIA official claims Flynn sanctions call was payback to Russia for election meddling
Jeremy Bash -- screenshot

Appearing on MCNBC, the former chief of staff to CIA Director Leon Panetta claimed that it appears that ex- national security advisor Michael Flynn had good reason to lie about his contacts with the Russians because it was related to their meddling in the 2016 election.

Speaking with host Nicolle Wallace, Jeremy Bash walked Wallace through why Flynn lied, saying it wasn't something as mundane as a simple phone call.

"Donald Trump's favorite thing to say is to talk about fake news and Donald Trump put out a lot of fake news himself," Wallace began. "Mike Flynn wasn't fired for doing his job. Mike Flynn isn't a convicted felon because he did his job. He's convicted of the felony of perjury, of lying to federal investigators. Can you address the president's comments in the context of today's news?"

"Yeah, the president wasn't telling the truth there," Bash began. "How do we know that? Because we now see from the statement that Mike Flynn was not freelancing. He had close coordination with the presidential team, presidential transition team at Mar-a-Lago, the people surrounding the president-elect. So the president-elect definitely knew that Mike Flynn was talking to the Russians."

"And again, speaking with a foreign leader is not inappropriate, in fact, it may be appropriate," he explained before adding. "So there's something clearly inappropriate about it that would cause Mike Flynn to then lie about it, and I think it's apparent from all the other information we know about this case that the inappropriate aspect was the fact that this was part of the quid pro quo. The Russians helped in the election, and the Trump transition team was giving the payback back to the Russians."

"The other aspect that's so unbelievable about the president's answer to Kristen Welker is that, basically he said 'I fired him because he lied to the vice president.' It means he, the president, knew that Flynn had done this and yet after Sally Yates' warning he kept him in the job. And he didn't fire him because he lied to Mike ence," he concluded.

Watch the video below via MSNBC: