Michael Flynn and Russia: A timeline
Nov. 18: Ten days after his election, President-elect Trump says Flynn will serve as his national security adviser.
Dec. 29: Then-President Obama announces new sanctions against Russia in response to its interference in the U.S. presidential election. Flynn speaks to Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., by phone the same day.
Dec. 30: Russian President Vladimir Putin says he won’t retaliate against the U.S. for the sanctions, surprising Obama administration officials. Afterward, intelligence analysts review intercepted communications and reportedly find Kislyak’s communications with Flynn.
Jan. 12: Washington Post columnist David Ignatius first reports on Flynn and Kislyak’s phone calls, questioning whether they could undermine the hacking-related sanctions. Trump transition officials say the call did not touch on the topic.
Jan. 13: Sean Spicer, then a Trump transition spokesman, said Flynn did not discuss sanctions with the Russian envoy, adding they spoke to arrange a call between Trump and Putin following the inauguration.
Jan. 15: Vice President-elect Pence tells CBS News the soon-to-be national security adviser “did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.
Jan. 19: Sally Yates, then the deputy attorney general, and other senior intelligence and law enforcement officials meet to discuss the Flynn call and whether to inform the incoming Trump administration, according to the Post.
Jan. 20: Trump is inaugurated as president.
Jan. 23: Spicer tells reporters Flynn and Kislyak spoke about a Russian plane crash that killed a military chorus, Christmas, upcoming Syria peace talks and a Trump-Putin call. He said sanctions did not come up.
Jan. 26: Yates informs White House counsel Don McGahn about the Flynn call, according to Spicer. Yates told the lawyer the White House’s public accounts differed from the contents of the actual discussion and that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. The spokesman said the president was “immediately” informed and a “very thorough review” was carried out.
Jan. 30: Yates is fired as acting attorney general for her refusal to defend Trump’s travel ban in court.
Feb. 9: The Post reports Flynn, through a spokesperson, admitted he discussed sanctions with Kislyak, backtracking on his previous denials.
Feb. 10: Flynn reportedly speaks by phone to Pence to apologize for misleading him about the contents of his conversation. The same day, Trump tells reporters aboard Air Force One he was unaware of reports that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak. Spicer later said Trump was only referring to the Post report and not the broader situation.
Feb. 13: Flynn resigns.