U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter Saturday that his former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s actions during his transition to the presidency were “lawful” and that “There was nothing to hide!”
On Friday, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. He also agreed to co-operate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether there were dealings between Trump’s 2016 election campaign and Russia.
“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 in a tweet Saturday.
Flynn was forced to resign in February after the White House said Flynn had misled officials about whether he discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador.
On Saturday morning, Trump spoke to reporters, reiterating that there was “no collusion” between his team and Russia during the 2016 U.S. election.
“What has been shown is no collusion, no collusion,” Trump told reporters. “There’s been absolutely no collusion, so we’re very happy.”
WATCH: Ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn admits he lied to FBI
The retired U.S. Army lieutenant general admitted in a Washington court that he lied to FBI investigators about his discussions last December with Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.
In what appeared to be moves undermining the policies of outgoing president Barack Obama, the pair discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia, and Flynn asked Kislyak to help delay a United Nations vote seen as damaging to Israel, according to prosecutors.
Flynn also was told by a “very senior member” of Trump’s transition team to contact Russia and other foreign governments to try to influence them ahead of the vote, the prosecutors said.
Sources told Reuters the “very senior” transition official was Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Kushner’s lawyer did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
*With files from Reuters