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Mike Flynn concealed his fateful FBI interview from Trump White House — until Yates blew the whistle: report

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One year ago today, then-national security adviser Mike Flynn met privately in his West Wing office for an interview with FBI agents about his communications with the Russian ambassador.

Flynn answered questions without a lawyer present and without telling President Donald Trump or other top White House officials — and more than 10 months later pleaded guilty to lying during that Jan. 24, 2017, interview, reported NBC News.

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Two people familiar with the matter told NBC News that Trump learned two days after the interview that Flynn had spoken with the FBI, which was set up hours before it took place by deputy FBI director Dan McCabe and a White House scheduler.

The scheduler didn’t ask the reason for the meeting and the FBI didn’t offer an explanation, one source told NBC News.

No one knew that any of this was happening,” said another senior White House official who was in the administration at the time.

“Apparently it was not clear to Flynn that this was about his personal conduct,” said a second White House official. “So he didn’t think of bringing his own lawyer.”

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Two days after the interview, then-deputy attorney general Sally Yates warned White House counsel Don McGahn that Flynn may be vulnerable to blackmail by the Russian government because he had lied to top White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence.

McGahn briefed Trump, along with then-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and then-chief of staff Reince Priebus, about his meeting with Yates later that same day.

That’s when Trump learned Flynn had been interviewed with the FBI, sources told NBC News.

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Yates, who was fired Jan. 30, has testified before Congress that McGahn asked her how Flynn had done in his interview, and she said she told the White House counsel she could not comment on that.

A source said McGahn did not ask Flynn if he had lied to the FBI, but they said it’s not clear whether the White House counsel suspected the national security adviser had misled investigators.

The FBI requested Flynn’s phone records and other documents in late winter, after Flynn was forced out.

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A source told NBC News the White House concluded at that time that Flynn had lied in his interview and was under investigation — so the president would have known his national security adviser was in legal jeopardy when he fired FBI director James Comey on May 9.

Comey has testified before lawmakers that Trump asked him Feb. 14, the day after the national security adviser’s firing, to let go of his investigation of Flynn, but the president has denied that allegation.

That timeline will be key to proving a possible obstruction of justice case against the president in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

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Comey was interviewed late last month by Mueller’s team.


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‘The wheels are coming off’: MSNBC panel says Trump told his chief of staff to ‘walk the plank’

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Two MSNBC anchors discussed Thursday's whirlwind day of breaking news in scandals involving President Donald Trump.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" joined Brian Williams on "The 11th Hour" to discuss Trump holding the G7 Summit at his Trump National Doral Miami golf course and the White House acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, confessing that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine -- before attempting to walk back his confession.

"Did things change today, do you think?" Williams asked.

"I do feel like the wheels are coming off," Maddow said.

"For the Energy Secretary [Rick Perry] to resign, you've had two cabinet secretaries resign during the impeachment proceedings already, one of whom, the current one resigning tonight, the Energy Secretary, does appear to be involved in the scheme, at least on a couple of different levels. We have got the White House Chief of Staff who was sent out today, not only to make the, 'Yes, it was quid pro quo. Yes, we did it. What are you going to make of it?' article -- which was bracing, but then to take it back, simultaneously announcing this self-dealing, which is something more blatant than we’ve ever seen from any president in U.S. history," she explained.

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Rick Wilson rips Trump for holding G7 meeting at his ‘South Florida House of Bed Bugs Hotel’

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Republican strategist Rick Willson blasted President Donald Trump after the administration announced that the G7 meeting of world leaders would be held at his Trump National Doral Miami golf course.

Chief of staff and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney announced the severely under-performing resort would receive the lucrative contract during a contentious White House briefing.

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2020 Election

Trump impersonated a CNN anchor — and a US president — during epic meltdown at Texas speech

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President Donald Trump offered multiple impersonations during a campaign rally in Dallas, Texas on Thursday.

Trump showed the crowd his impersonation of a president of the United States -- and a CNN anchor.

"No guns. No religion. No oil. No natural gas," Trump said. "Abraham Lincoln could not win Texas under those circumstances. Couldn’t do it."

In fact, Abraham Lincoln could not win Texas when he ran for president as the state refused to print any ballots with his name.

He then showed the audience two impersonations as part of his 87-minute speech.

"I used it to say, I can be more presidential. Look," Trump said, as he shuffled awkwardly on stage.

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