- Following news of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s plea deal, President Donald Trump was reportedly urged by staffers not to weigh in on Twitter.
- Trump believed that Flynn was “in a lot of trouble,” according to an adviser.
- The president and other White House staffers reportedly had no warning of Flynn’s early-morning plea deal.
President Donald Trump was reportedly urged by staffers not to weigh in on Twitter after the bombshell news that his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had struck a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors, according to a New York Times report published Friday.
Trump was in the White House’s residence when he received word of Flynn’s agreement with Mueller’s team, who charged Flynn with making false statements to federal investigators about his prior conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the US, The Times reported. It was White House chief of staff John Kelly who learned of the charges from TV and informed Trump of the news, The Times said.
Although one adviser said that Trump did not outwardly express a reaction right away, he reportedly said that Flynn “is in a lot of trouble,” The Times reported.
But Trump’s opinions on the Russia investigation may have been muted Friday, due to the focus on Senate Republicans’ last-minute changes on their tax bill before a final vote was taken.
Trump’s legal team reportedly had no prior warning of the charges Friday morning, likely due to Flynn’s attorneys telling Trump’s counsel last week they could no longer share information on Mueller’s ongoing investigation.
Legal experts have since theorized that Mueller, who heads the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with members of Trump’s campaign, may have received incriminating information on Trump or his associates from Flynn, given the nature of his plea deal.
Flynn is the fourth Trump associate who has been charged in Mueller’s investigation. Previously, a federal grand jury indicted Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman; Rick Gates, Manafort’s former business associate; and George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser.