A New York Times report in the Sunday edition shares email excerpts from President Trump's transition team which suggest former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn did not act independently when he made contact with the Russian government between the election and the inauguration. The email was penned last December by K.T. McFarland, who would go on to become Flynn's deputy:
Mr. Obama, [McFarland] wrote, was trying to "box Trump in diplomatically with Russia," which could limit his options with other countries, including Iran and Syria. "Russia is key that unlocks door," she wrote.
She also wrote that the sanctions over Russian election meddling were intended to "lure Trump in trap of saying something" in defense of Russia, and were aimed at "discrediting Trump’s victory by saying it was due to Russian interference." "If there is a tit-for-tat escalation Trump will have difficulty improving relations with Russia, which has just thrown U.S.A. election to him," she wrote. [The New York Times]
McFarland's email was shared with top Trump aides including Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, and Stephen Bannon, who would go on to become President Trump's first press secretary, chief of staff, and chief strategist, respectively. All three have since exited the administration, as have Flynn and McFarland.
The White House told the Times McFarland only referred to Democrats' narrative about the election, not what really happened. Read more at The New York Times.