A Michael Flynn timeline

Last Updated Feb 14, 2017 4:32 PM EST

By Arden Farhi, Margaret Brennan, Louise Dufresne and Josh Gross

12/10/15 Michael Flynn travels to Russia; meets with President Vladimir Putin

11/9/16 Donald Trump wins presidential election

11/17/16 President-elect Trump offers Flynn White House post as National Security Adviser

11/18/16 Flynn accepts position

12/4/16 Flynn’s son Michael Flynn Jr., a transition staffer, tweets on #Pizzagate

@MFlynnJr: Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it’ll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many “coincidences” tied to it.

#Pizzagate is a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton and a Washington, D.C. pizzeria

12/6/16 Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr. is forced to resign from Trump transition team over #pizzagate

12/12/16  U.S. official confirms U.S. has “high confidence” Russian intelligence agency GRU hacked the DNC and DCCC

In October, the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Russia was behind the cyberattacks.

12/25/16 Flynn calls Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak 

Flynn reached out to wish the ambassador  a merry Christmas and the ambassador returned those greetings. Flynn offered his condolences for the loss of 92 members of a Russian military choir killed in a plane crash. This was a call that was listed by White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Jan. 13.

12/28/16 Flynn has second encounter with Kislyak

Flynn texted/called to discuss logistics of setting up a phone call between Trump and Putin to take place after Inauguration Day, according to Spicer’s Jan. 13 briefing.

12/29/16 Russian sanctions announced

Obama administration announces sanctions on Russia for the cyber attack; 35 Russian diplomats expelled; two Russian diplomatic facilities in the U.S. shuttered. 

President-elect Trump’s reaction: “It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things.   Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation.”

12/30/16 Donald Trump tweet

@realDonaldTrump: Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!

1/12/17 Washington Post’s David Ignatius first reports Flynn and Russian ambassador spoke by phone

1/13/17 Reuters reports there were five phone calls between Flynn and the Russian ambassador on the day the U.S. announced retaliatory sanctions. 

1/15/17 Mike Pence appears on “Face the Nation” and defends Flynn

JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you about it was reported by David Ignatius that the incoming national security advisor Michael Flynn was in touch with the Russian ambassador on the day the United States government announced sanctions for Russian interference with the election. Did that contact help with that Russian kind of moderate response to it? That there was no counter-reaction from Russia. Did the Flynn conversation help pave the way for that sort of more temperate Russian response?  

MIKE PENCE: I talked to General Flynn about that conversation and actually was initiated on Christmas Day he had sent a text to the Russian ambassador to express not only Christmas wishes but sympathy for the loss of life in the airplane crash that took place. It was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation. They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.  

JOHN DICKERSON: So did they ever have a conversation about sanctions ever on those days or any other day?  

MIKE PENCE: They did not have a discussion contemporaneous with U.S. actions on--  

JOHN DICKERSON: But what about after--

MIKE PENCE: --my conversation with General Flynn. Well, look. General Flynn has been in touch with diplomatic leaders, security leaders in some 30 countries. That’s exactly what the incoming national security advisor--  

JOHN DICKERSON: Absolutely.  

MIKE PENCE: --should do. But what I can confirm, having spoken to him about it, is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions.

JOHN DICKERSON: But that still leaves open the possibility that there might have been other conversations about the sanctions.  

MIKE PENCE: I don’t believe there were more conversations.  

JOHN DICKERSON: Okay. Okay. Okay. That’s all I want. Okay. Got it--

MIKE PENCE: --confirm that those elements were not part of that discussion. 

1/20/17 Inauguration Day: Donald Trump sworn in as the 45th president

1/22/17 Michael Flynn sworn in as national security adviser

1/23/17 Sean Spicer on contacts between Flynn and Russian ambassador

White House confirms two calls between Flynn and Kislyak.

QUESTION: Were those conversations about anything else other than setting up that discussion? And why has that discussion not yet happened between the president and President Putin?

SPICER: So there’s been one call. I talked to General Flynn about this again last night. One call, talked about four subjects. One was the loss of life that occurred in the plane crash that took their military choir, two was Christmas and holiday greetings, three was to -- to talk about a conference in Syria on ISIS and four was to set up a -- to talk about after the inauguration setting up a call between President Putin and President Trump.

That -- I don’t believe that that has been set up yet because the call was to say -- they did follow up, I’m sorry, two days ago about how to facilitate that call once again. So there have been a total of two calls with the ambassador and General Flynn. And the second call came -- I think it’s now three days ago -- that was to say once he gets into office, can we set up that call? It hasn’t -- to my knowledge, has not occurred yet.

1/26/17 Department of Justice informs White House that Flynn may have misled administration officials

DOJ informed the White House Office of Legal Counsel that it believed that Michael Flynn may have misled senior administration officials about the nature of his communications with Russian ambassador.  President Trump was briefed.

1/28/17 - President Trump speaks with Russian President Putin

White House readout: 

“President Donald J. Trump received a congratulatory call today from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The call lasted approximately one hour and ranged in topics from mutual cooperation in defeating ISIS to efforts in working together to achieve more peace throughout the world including Syria. The positive call was a significant start to improving the relationship between the United States and Russia that is in need of repair. Both President Trump and President Putin are hopeful that after today’s call the two sides can move quickly to tackle terrorism and other important issues of mutual concern.”

2/1/17 Flynn says Iran is “on notice”

In an appearance in the White House briefing room, Flynn said, “As of today we are officially putting Iran on notice.”

2/10/17 Flynn spokesman claims Flynn can’t be certain if sanctions were discussed

Washington Post reports that Flynn doesn’t recall but cannot be 100 percent certain whether Russia sanctions came up during his phone conversation with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. The report cited a White House official who had spoken to him. Flynn said he doesn’t remember any part of the discussion involving sanctions. When asked about possible transcripts of phone conversations that would have been intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies who may have been monitoring the calls, the official said he hadn’t seen them and had no comment. 

2/10/17 Aboard Air Force One, President Trump denies knowledge of Flynn’s conversations with ambassador

QUESTION: Mr. President what do you make of reports that General Flynn had conversations with the Russians about sanctions before you were sworn in?

POTUS: I don’t know about it. I haven’t seen it. What report is that?

POTUS: I haven’t seen that. I’ll look at that. 

When asked how the cable news-loving president was unaware of the Flynn matter, the White House told Margaret Brennan “he had a full day.”

2/13/17 White House mixed messages: it expresses full confidence in Flynn, then says it is reviewing the situation

Flynn participated in calls with leaders from South Africa and Nigeria. He also appeared in the front row of a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Kellyanne Conway says Flynn “does enjoy the full confidence of the president.”

An hour later, the White House released a statement saying, “The President is evaluating the situation...” 

2/13/17 Flynn resigns; Keith Kellogg named interim national security adviser

Flynn submits resignation letter to the president, says “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.”

2/14/17 Kremlin calls Flynn’s ouster an “internal matter”

“This is the internal business of the Americans, it is the internal business of President Trump’s administration. This is not our business,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.