Senate Intelligence Committee member Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) confirmed Tuesday that his committee will “exhaustively” investigate ties between Russia and the administration following former Gen. Michael Flynn following his resignation.
Flynn resigned late Monday night following reports that he misled senior White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, on his conversations with Russia — specifically on sanctions the U.S. has placed on Russia.
Blunt confirmed during an interview with St. Louis’ KTRS radio Tuesday morning that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has asked the Senate Intelligence Committee to “look into” the Flynn situation and find out what the retired general knew and told Russian officials.
“I think everybody needs that investigation to happen,” Blunt said. “And the Senate Intelligence Committee, again that I serve on, has been given the principle responsibility to look into this, and I think we should look into it exhaustively so at the end of this process, nobody wonders whether there was a stone left unturned and shouldn’t reach conclusions before you have the information that you need to have to make those conclusions.”
“But the Senate Intelligence Committee is looking at this,” Blunt added. “I would think that we should talk to Gen. Flynn very soon and that should answer a lot of questions— what did he know, what did he do and is there any reason to believe anybody knew that and didn’t take the kind of action they should have taken?”
Blunt said that “the right thing to do” is “finding out if there’s a problem or not and sooner rather than later.”
While Cornyn didn’t specify what exactly the committees should investigate, he did say Flynn should testify before Congress.
It was Flynn’s trustworthiness that was his downfall, Blunt said:
He’s served the country well and for a long time, but you need to be truthful in whatever job you have. And the national security advisor, of all the people who work with and for the president, has to be absolutely trustworthy and truthful and apparently he wasn’t.
I think in this case, absolute trustworthiness is the most important thing. Even more important than knowledge, you’ve got to trust what the national security advisor says, and apparently that wasn’t going to be the case here.
In his resignation letter, Flynn contended that he “held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors” while he was incoming national security advisor.
“Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador,” Flynn said.
Trump named retired Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg, Jr. as acting national security advisor.