Things that make you go hmmm
President Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, spoke with FBI investigators in the White House two days after his swearing-in in 2017, although Trump himself did not learn of the interview until two days later, NBC News reports. "No one knew that any of this was happening," said one senior White House official.
The Jan. 24, 2017, meeting between Flynn and the FBI is now at the heart of the ongoing investigation into Russia's hand in the 2016 election and a possible obstruction of justice case against the sitting president. In December, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Jan. 24 interview.
Then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe's office and one of Flynn's schedulers had spoken on Jan. 24 to arrange for the interview later that same day. "The scheduler didn't ask the reason for the meeting, and the FBI didn't volunteer it," NBC News writes based on a conversation with a person familiar with the timeline. Flynn, as such, did not loop in a lawyer for the National Security Council, as would be normal, nor his own personal lawyer, meeting instead with the investigators alone.
The White House senior staff first learned the interview had taken place on Jan. 26, an entire two days later. Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates revealed Flynn's conversation with the FBI when she warned White House counsel Don McGahn that the national security adviser had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his conversations with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, potentially making him vulnerable to blackmail. Yates has since testified that McGahn asked her about how well Flynn did in his interview with the FBI agents, and Yates told him she could not comment.
McGahn subsequently briefed Trump, then-White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, and then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. Flynn was fired 18 days later, on Feb. 13. Read the full story of Flynn's private meeting with the FBI at NBC News.