Monday, December 3, 2018

Flashback: K.T. McFarland would now like to tell the truth

This was early on in the Mueller probe, after Flynn's plea, and I wonder how many people who have been lying about the Trump campaign would like to change their story now after Cohen's plea.
September 22

A former top White House official has revised her statement to investigators about a key event in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, after her initial claim was contradicted by the guilty plea of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to people familiar with the matter.

K.T. McFarland, who briefly served as Flynn’s deputy, has now said that he may have been referring to sanctions when they spoke in late December 2016 after Flynn’s calls with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, these people said.


Not long after Flynn’s plea, McFarland was questioned by investigators again about her conversations with Flynn, and she walked back her previous denial that sanctions were discussed, saying a general statement Flynn had made to her that things were going to be okay could have been a reference to sanctions, these people said.

Yeah, now that I think of it, he MAY have been.
When FBI agents first visited her at her Long Island home in the summer of 2017, McFarland denied ever talking to Flynn about any discussion of sanctions between him and the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, in December 2016, during the presidential transition.

For a time, investigators saw her answers as “inconsistent,” putting her in legal peril as the FBI tried to determine whether she had lied to them.


Flynn pleaded guilty in December [2017] to lying to the FBI about his calls with Kislyak and has been cooperating with Mueller. He is scheduled to be sentenced in mid-December.


Eventually, McFarland and her lawyer, Robert Giuffra, convinced the FBI that she had not intentionally misled the bureau but had rather spoken from memory, without the benefit of any documents that could have helped her remember her exchanges with Flynn about the Kislyak conversations, these people said.


Just days after Flynn talked to Kislyak, however, McFarland said that her memory was clear and that the two had never discussed sanctions or how the incoming Trump administration hoped Russia would respond.


McFarland insisted in an on-the-record conversation that Flynn and Kislyak had never discussed sanctions and that they had actually spoken before the administration’s announcement on Dec. 29.

She said the two men had talked about plans for a conversation between Trump and Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, to take place after the inauguration. And, she said, Flynn had expressed his condolences for the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey 10 days earlier.

“It sticks in my mind,” McFarland said at the time, because just before the assassination, which was captured on video, transition officials were discussing who might receive ambassadorial posts in the new administration.


McFarland said that Flynn “called me right after” his call with Kislyak and conveyed the details of their conversation. She said she knew that the call took place before Dec. 29 because by then, she had left Trump’s Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, where she had been staying with other members of the transition team.

But according to Flynn’s guilty plea, McFarland was still at Mar-a-Lago on Dec. 29. And before Flynn ever called Kislyak, he spoke to McFarland to discuss what he should tell the ambassador, if anything, about the sanctions.

“On that call, Flynn and [McFarland] discussed the U.S. sanctions, including the potential impact of those sanctions on the incoming administration’s foreign policy goals,” the plea agreement stated.


Immediately after that call with McFarland, Flynn phoned Kislyak “and requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner,” according to the plea. Flynn then called McFarland to report on what he had said to Kislyak, “including their discussion of the U.S. sanctions.”
Well, damn. Poor K.T. Hung out to dry.
McFarland’s earlier account from the on-the-record conversation also matches public statements from Sean Spicer, the transition team’s spokesman and future White House press secretary.

Spicer said that Flynn and Kislyak spoke Dec. 28, before the sanctions were announced, and that “the call centered around the logistics of setting up a call with the president of Russia and the president-elect after he was sworn in.”

“That was it, plain and simple,” he said.
Good old Sean, who whored himself out so far that he even lied about the president's inaugural audience attendance when pictures proved the opposite because that's what the president was saying. I wonder what he's getting in the Mueller deal.
Emails among transition officials at the time of Flynn’s contacts also show McFarland communicating about how to respond to sanctions, according to people who have seen the messages.


In July 2017, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asked McFarland in writing whether she had spoken to Flynn about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the transition.

“I am not aware of any of the issues or events as described above,” McFarland replied.

Congressional officials said they found McFarland’s response misleading in light of Flynn’s guilty plea, which he struck four months later.
And she lost an ambassadorship to Singapore for her troubles.

Flynn's sentencing hearing is set for the 18th of this month.  I hope we get to see a statement of how much he's been cooperating with Mueller.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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