Blinken to meet with Russian foreign minister amid tensions over Ukraine
WH lawyer told Trump that Flynn misled FBI and Pence: report
White House counsel Don McGahn told President Trump in January that he believed former national security adviser Michael Flynn lied to Vice President Pence and misled the FBI, CNN reported Monday.
McGahn reportedly told Trump that based on his conversation with then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates, Flynn should be fired because he had not been truthful with the FBI or Pence. The firing occurred 18 days later.
Flynn pleaded guilty last week to lying to the FBI, and is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Trump tweeted Sunday that he fired Flynn "because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!"
The tweet appeared to represent a shift for Trump, who had previously said Flynn was fired only for misleading Pence.
"I fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence. Very simple," Trump said at a Feb. 16 news conference.
Legal experts say that if Trump knew Flynn had lied to the FBI and then asked James Comey to drop the investigation, as Comey alleges, it could amount to obstruction of justice.
But one of Trump's lawyers, John Dowd, cast doubt on that idea Monday.
The "president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution's Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case," Dowd told Axios.