'They ruined his life!': Trump says Hillary Clinton 'lied many times' to the FBI and 'nothing happened to her' yet the feds are out to destroy Mike Flynn
- Trump told reporters he feels 'very badly' for Flynn, a retired general who served in his White House for a brief period after the inauguration?
- Flynn pleaded guilty last week to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with a special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the election?
- President said that Hillary Clinton, his former opponent and a former secretary of state, 'lied many times, nothing happened to her'?
- Clinton was investigated for mishandling classified information after her secret server was discovered but she was never charged with a crime?
President Donald Trump rushed to Michael Flynn's defense on Monday morning, accusing the feds of destroying his former national security adviser's life.
Trump told reporters he feels 'very badly' for Flynn, a retired general who served in his White House for a brief period after the inauguration.?
The president compared Flynn to?Hillary Clinton, his former opponent for president and a former secretary of state, claiming that 'she lied many times, nothing happened to her.'
'Flynn lied, and it's like they ruined his life. It was very unfair,' he said.
The ex-White House official pleaded guilty last week to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian?meddling in the election.?
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO?
President Donald Trump rushed to Michael Flynn's defense on Monday morning, accusing the feds of destroying his former national security adviser's life
'Flynn lied, and it's like they ruined his life. It was very unfair,' Trump said on Monday. Flynn is seen on Friday in Washington leaving his plea deal hearing
The ex-White House official pleaded guilty last week to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the election
The plea deal for one count of lying suggests that Mueller believes substantive information on Trump's inner circle can be gleaned from Flynn.?
Trump said this weekend in a tweet that he fired Flynn in February because the official lied to Vice President and the FBI. The statement that the White House now claims was the work of Trump's personal lawyer, John Down, offered new insight into Flynn's departure.?
Trump compared Flynn to Hillary Clinton , his former opponent for president, claiming that 'she lied many times, nothing happened to her'
Previously, the president argued that Flynn was dismissed for misleading Pence about talks with the Russian government about the easing of sanctions. He did not claim then that Flynn, a director of national intelligence in the Obama administration, was being excised for lying to the FBI, which is a federal crime.
Flynn was known to have had a conversation with the FBI on his way out that raised red flags within the bureau and led acting Department of Justice head Sally Yates to contact the White House's Office of Legal Counsel.?
The investigation into payments he received for lobbying work that he did not disclose to the federal government and his conversations during the transition with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak were not publicly reported until later.
Former FBI Director James Comey claims that Trump requested that he drop the inquiry into Flynn just after the retired general's resignation. Trump said this past weekend in tweets that the conversation never happened.?
'I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!' Trump said on Sunday.
He said in a Dec. 2 tweet: 'I had to fire General 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!'?
Trump said earlier this year that he did not tell Flynn to discuss sanctions with the Russian government but would have told him to engage because that was his national security adviser's job.
'No, I didn't direct him, but I would have directed him if he didn't do it,' he said in his first solo White House press conference on Feb. 16.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowksi, who was kicked off the team before Flynn was brought in but remains close to the president, told NBC on Monday just before the president's statement to the press that he does not believe the directive to talk about sanctions came from the top.
'I don't think so, and Mike has never said that that's been the case, either,' he said.
ABC News reported last week that Trump personally told Flynn to contact the Russians during the transition, and he was prepared to say so in testimony. The spotty reporting, based on a single source, has since been called into question and the journalist involved has been suspended for erroneously claiming that Trump was a candidate when he gave the order.?
Court documents from Flynn's plea deal indicate that a 'very senior member' of the transition was involved in the conversations, however, and they included a plot to undermine the foreign policy of Barack Obama.
Flynn spoke to Kislyak about a United Nations resolution the Israelis wanted to kill, a potential violation of the Logan Act, as Trump was not yet the United States president.
It is a crime under the Logan Act for private citizens to negotiate with foreign governments without U.S. permission.
This tweet by Donald Trump led to accusations that the president had obstructed justice after allegedly telling James Comey to back off Michael Flynn while also knowing that Flynn lied to the FBI. But now the White House says his personal lawyer made the tweet
Trump insisted in weekend tweets that it's Clinton the Department of Justice should be chasing, reigniting a rivalry between himself and the Democrat who challenged him last year for president.
He said a lead agent on the case had 'tainted' the previous probe and was 'very dishonest' as he accused another FBI official's wife of taking cash for a failed bid for elected office from Clinton.
'After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness,' Trump stated.
The tirade came after Mueller dismissed deputy head of counterintelligence, Peter Strzok, from his investigation for sending anti-Trump messages. Strozk had also played a lead role in the Clinton email case.?
Trump is on his way to Utah for an event today. He stopped to talk to press this morning on the South Lawn of the White House over the roar of Marine One.?
Asked about Flynn as he walked away, Trump stopped to say: 'I feel badly for General Flynn. I feel very badly.?He's led a very strong life, and I feel very badly.?
'I will say this: Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI and nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life. I think it's a shame.'
Trump said this weekend in a tweet that he fired Flynn in February because the official lied to Vice President and the FBI. The statement that the White House now claims was the work of Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd, offered new insight into Flynn's departure
Trump wondered at the fact that Clinton was allowed to give testimony in her email case to the FBI in the summer of 2016 when she was not under oath. He accused her of lying to federal agents and getting away with it.?
'It was the most incredible thing anyone has ever seen,' Trump said. 'She lied many times. Nothing happened to her. Flynn lied, and it's like they ruined his life. It's very unfair.'?
Clinton was never charged with a crime, despite a finding that she had been reckless with sensitive material. Trump supporters' belief that it was a miscarriage of justice gave way to the rallying cry, 'Lock her up!'
Flynn memorably led the chanting at last year's Republican National Convention - an irony that has not been lost on Democrats in light of his current situation.
Trump fired former FBI chief Comey in May, supposedly on the advice of his deputy attorney general, for bungling Clinton's email case a year prior.
Comey gave Clinton a pass for her unauthorized home-brewed server and private email account, even though he accused her in a July presser of being 'extremely careless' with classified information.
He reopened the case into Clinton days before the election only to slam it shut again, angering voters and politicians on both sides of the political spectrum.
The fired law enforcement official has been a key target of Trump's ire as the federal investigation into election meddling plods on. Trump has repeatedly that no one on his campaign colluded with the Russian government.
Trump said he had Russia on his mind when he fired Comey in May but it was the Clinton investigation that led to the law enforcement official's demise.
The canning of Comey instigated the special counsel probe that's hounding Trump's administration now. Trump faces possible charges of obstruction of justice if it is found that he fired Comey for reasons other than a lack of competency.?
Communications director Hope Hicks is the latest aide to Trump to be drawn into the special counsel operation that has Flynn and three other former campaign officials, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, in its cross-hairs. She's believed to have interviewed with Mueller's team sometime before Dec 1.
Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, has also spoken to federal investigators.?
Reince Priebus, the former former White House chief of staff, and Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, have been probed for information, as well.?
Most watched News videos
- Billy Bush talks to Stephen Colbert about being fire from Today
- Trouble in paradise: Two seniors brawl during Caribbean holiday
- Man rescues rabbit amidst intensifying flames from LA wildfire
- Melanie Martinez at 'American Horror Story' premiere in L.A.
- Extra police on standby as Samuel Shaffer is arrested in Lund
- Persons of interest in the death of Sydney Loofe release video
- Matt Lauer spotted leaving Long Island deli without wedding ring
- President Trump slurs speech during Jerusalem address
- Matt Lauer's wife meets up with a friend on Long Island
- Hospital video: North Korean defector undergoes life-saving surgery
- Australian gamer beats 15-year record for GoldenEye 007
- Palestinians torch Trump photos in protest against embassy move