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Michael Flynn pleads guilty to making false statements to the FBI

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat.


1:40 p.m.

The top Democrats on the Senate and House intelligence committees are warning President Donald Trump against trying to influence investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and Congressman Adam Schiff of California issued statements Friday, after former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

Warner and Schiff say it would be unacceptable for Trump to try to influence any investigations, including the probes their committees are conducting.

Warner refers to an "alarming pattern" by Trump, including the president's firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Schiff speculated that Flynn's plea may prompt the White House and its allies to try to curtail congressional investigations or try to end Mueller's probe prematurely. Schiff says Congress "must make clear" that would be unacceptable.

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12:30 p.m.

The White House has cancelled a scheduled opportunity for reporters to question President Donald Trump about former national security adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea.

The public White House schedule had said that reporters would be allowed to document part of Trump's meeting with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

During these media events, called "pool sprays," reporters usually pepper the president with questions. Trump often answers, using opportunity to deliver his message directly to voters.

Reporters had been lined up outside the Oval Office, waiting to enter the room, when White House staffers marched them back into the press room.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters then told them the media event would not happen.

Earlier, Trump ignored shouted questions about Flynn as he greeted the prime minister at the door.

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12:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump is not answering questions about former national security adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea to lying to the FBI.

Trump did not respond to shouted questions Friday morning as he welcomed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Serraj to the White House. He waved and flashed a thumbs up.

The Libyan leader arrived Friday morning. The White House has said they will discuss reaffirming U.S. support for Libya's unity government and help stabilizing the country.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb says nothing about Flynn's guilty plea "implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn." Cobb pointedly noted that Flynn worked in the White House for only 25 days.

Trump has previously referred to Flynn as a "wonderful man."

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11:50 a.m.

A White House lawyer says that nothing about former national security adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea "implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn."

Lawyer Ty Cobb also points out that Flynn worked in the White House for only 25 days and that he was a "former Obama administration official."

Cobb put out a statement Friday after Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI. As part of a plea deal, Flynn has admitted that a senior member of the Trump transition team directed him to make contact with Russian officials in December 2016.

Cobb said the "false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year."

Trump has previously referred to Flynn as a "wonderful man."

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11:42 a.m.

Former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn is admitting in a statement that his actions were wrong, and he says his guilty plea is in the best interests of his family and the country.

Flynn released a statement Friday after pleading guilty in federal court in Washington to lying to the FBI about his contacts during the post-election transition period with the Russian ambassador.

He says he's cooperating with an investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors. That investigation is examining potential contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Flynn also says he's been subjected to false accusations.

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11:30 a.m.

As part of a plea deal, former national security adviser Michael Flynn has admitted that a senior member of the Trump transition team directed him to make contact with Russian officials in December 2016.

Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI, becoming the first official who worked in the Trump White House to make a guilty plea so far in a wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

The government did not reveal the identity of the senior transition official.

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11:15 a.m.

A federal judge says former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn is cooperating with the government in the wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.

U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras said during Flynn's plea hearing that the government will decide how effectively Flynn is cooperating as part of a plea agreement.

Flynn didn't speak in court, other than to say he would plead guilty.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is examining possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

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11:12 a.m.

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat.

It's the first plea by any of the four former advisers to President Donald Trump charged so far in the wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Flynn has been under investigation for a wide range of allegations, including his lobbying work on behalf of Turkey, but the fact that he was charged only with a single count of making false statements suggests he is cooperating with Mueller's investigation in exchange for leniency.

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10:45 a.m.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has arrived at the U.S. federal courthouse in Washington. He's scheduled to plead guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI.

Court documents show Flynn will admit to lying about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States during the transition period before Trump's inauguration. Flynn was an early and vocal supporter on the campaign trail of President Donald Trump whose business dealings and foreign interactions made him a central focus of Mueller's investigation.

The expected guilty plea makes the retired Army lieutenant general the first person to have actually worked in the Trump White House to face formal charges in the investigation, which is examining possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

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9:25 a.m.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is to plead guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI, the fourth former Trump adviser charged so far in a wide-ranging investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Court documents show Flynn, an early and vocal supporter on the campaign trail of President Donald Trump whose business dealings and foreign interactions made him a central focus of Mueller's investigation, will admit to lying about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States during the transition period before Trump's inauguration.

The expected guilty plea makes the retired Army lieutenant general the first person to have actually worked in the Trump White House to face formal charges in the investigation, which is examining possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)  

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