Trump defends Flynn's actions during transition: 'There was nothing to hide!'

Trump defends Flynn's actions during transition: 'There was nothing to hide!'
© Camille Fine

President Trump commented Saturday on his former national security adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea, saying there was "nothing to hide" about Flynn's actions during the presidential transition.

"I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies," Trump wrote in a tweet.

"It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!" he added. 

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Trump's tweets come a day after Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Trump campaign associates' ties to Russia.

Flynn acknowledged to investigators that he had spoken with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the month before Trump took office about U.S. sanctions, despite his previous comments.

Prosecutors also said that Flynn was directed by a "very senior member" of the Trump transition team to contact officials from Russia and other countries to push them to vote against a United Nations Security Council resolution.

Multiple reports on Friday indicated that Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner was that senior transition official.

Flynn was ousted as Trump's national security adviser on Feb. 13, just 24 days after entering the administration.

In June, Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate that Trump asked him during a Feb. 14 meeting to "let go" of an investigation into Flynn.

Flynn's guilty plea represents a major milestone in Mueller's probe into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. 

The retired general is the first person who held a Trump administration position to be brought down by Mueller and his team of investigators.

Mueller announced last month former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Richard Gates were indicted on charges of conspiracy against the U.S. and money laundering.

Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos also pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators. 

Updated: 1:39 p.m.