When asked by NBC News' Kristen Welker on Thursday if he had ordered Gen. Michael Flynn to discuss sanctions with Russia before he took office, President Donald Trump denied the allegation — but then suggested he "would have" if he didn't think Flynn was already discussing the matter.
"It certainly would have been okay with me [if he had called Russia about sanctions]," Trump said. "I would have directed him to do it if I thought he wasn't. I didn't direct him but I would have directed him. That's his job."
Flynn resigned after it came to light that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence over whether he discussed the possible lifting of sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a call ahead of President Trump's inauguration. Flynn was reportedly investigated in January by the FBI over a possible violation of the Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from negotiating disputes between the United States and other governments. Jeva Lange
!! Trump just said he didn't order Flynn to discuss sanctions w/the Russians before he took office—but he WOULD have if he thought he wasn't pic.twitter.com/JGnyRWBVfF
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 16, 2017