Shortly before delivering a speech at the FBI National Academy Graduation Ceremony, President Trump on Friday refused to rule out a pardon for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has already pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the bureau and has offered to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.
"I don’t want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn yet,” Trump told reporters at the White House. "We'll see what happens. Let's see."
Trump also refused to say when he learned that his former national security adviser lied to the FBI. One of Trump's lawyers recently took credit for one of the president's tweets where he appeared to suggest that he had learned of Flynn's dishonesty with the bureau before reportedly asking then-FBI Director James Comey to "go easy" on him.
"You know the answer," Trump said. "How many times has that question been asked?"
So far, Flynn and former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos have both pleaded guilty to obstruction charges related to lying to the FBI. Both have agreed to cooperate with the Mueller probe. Former Trump campaign executive Paul Manafort and his longtime deputy, Rick Gates, have been indicted for money laundering and failing to disclose their work for a foreign power, though both appear to be fighting the charges, according to the Hill.
Initally, ABC reported that Flynn was prepared to testify that Trump had ordered him to reach out to the Russians during the campaign, an act that, if true, would have validated the prosecutors' collusion narrative. However, it was quickly revealed that the ABC report contained an egregious error: Flynn was instructed to reach out to representatives of the Russian government during the transition - not the campaign. Establishing diplomatic relationships with foreign countries is a normal part of most presidential transitions. Flynn was reportedly ordered to do so by senior Trump adviser Jared Kushner.
Immediately before flying to Quantico for his speech, Trump couldn't resist taking another pot-shot at the FBI. "I can say this, when you look at what’s going on with the FBI and with the Justice Department, people are very, very angry," he said.