Newsdeck

Flynn resignation ‘not our business’: Kremlin

By AFP 14 February 2017

The Kremlin on Tuesday insisted that the resignation of Donald Trump's security adviser Michael Flynn over contacts with the Russian government was Washington's internal affair.

The White House late Monday said Trump had accepted Flynn’s resignation amid allegations the retired three-star general discussed US sanctions strategy with Russia’s ambassador Sergey Kislyak before taking office.

“This is the internal business of the Americans, it is the internal business of President Trump’s administration. This is not our business,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

Flynn admitted that he “inadvertently briefed” the now Vice President Mike Pence with “incomplete information” about his calls with Kislyak.

Pence had publicly defended Flynn, saying he did not discuss sanctions, putting his own credibility into question.

US media reported Monday that the Justice Department had warned the White House that Flynn had misled senior administration officials about the contents of his talks with Kislyak, and that it could make him vulnerable to Russian blackmail.

The Kremlin has previously denied that Flynn and Kislyak discussed the lifting of US sanctions. 

The resignation of the top aide is a first stunning departure from the president’s inner circle less than a month after his inauguration. 

Flynn — who has previously met President Vladimir Putin — was a vocal supporter of a softer policy on Russia after ties plunged over Moscow’s meddling in Ukraine and allegations of interference in the US election. 

The Kremlin is hoping that Trump will follow through on his pledge to improve relations with Russia and may eventually wind back damaging sanctions that have battered its economy.

Russian lawmakers were quick to throw their backing behind Flynn after his exit — describing his departure as an attack against attempts to restore ties between Moscow and Washington. 

Leonid Slutsky, who heads the Duma’s foreign affairs committee, said it was a “negative signal” for Moscow. 

“Even a readiness to have a dialogue with Russians is seen by the hawks in Washington as a thought crime,” senator Konstantin Kosachev wrote on Facebook. 

“Forcing the resignation of the national security advisor for contacts with the Russian ambassador, which is normal diplomatic practice, is not just paranoia but something immeasurably worse,” he added. DM

Gallery

Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?

Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.

Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.

Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.

*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

Analysis

The week to herald South Africa’s political future starts now

By Stephen Grootes

Magenta has no physical wavelength. It thus does not "exist" strictly speaking. Rather our brains are telling us that we are seeing "not green".