Donald Trump has denied there was any collusion between his campaign and Russia after ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn admitted lying to the FBI.
Commenting on the matter for the first time since Flynn’s guilty plea on Friday, the US President told reporters as he departed the White House: “What has been shown is no collusion, no collusion.”
Trump added on Saturday: “There’s been absolutely no collusion, so we’re very happy.”
Flynn was the first member of Trump’s administration to plead guilty to a crime uncovered by special counsel Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion by Trump aides.
Flynn admitted in a Washington court that he had lied to FBI investigators about discussions he had last December with Russia’s ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak.
In what appeared to be moves undermining the policies of outgoing President Barack Obama, the pair discussed US sanctions on Russia, and Flynn asked Kislyak to help delay a United Nations vote seen as damaging to Israel, according to prosecutors.
Flynn also was told by a “very senior member” of Trump’s transition team to contact Russia and other foreign governments to try to influence them ahead of the vote, the prosecutors said.
Sources told Reuters the “very senior” transition official was Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor. Kushner’s lawyer did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Flynn, a former Defense Intelligence Agency director, only held his position as Trump’s national security adviser for 24 days.
He was forced to resign after he was found to have misled Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with Kislyak.
Flynn, a retired US Army lieutenant, agreed to cooperate with the official investigation as part of his plea on Friday.