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Trump: Flynn Should Testify Before Congressional Intelligence Committees & Receive Immunity

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- President Donald Trump said that General Michael Flynn should testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees investigating Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

Also Friday, he signed two executive orders aimed at trade business.

"During the campaign, I traveled the nation and visited the cities and towns devastated by unfair trade policies. Probably one of the major reasons I'm here today: trade," Trump said.

The president signed the executive orders after meeting with the National Association of Manufacturers and announcing the results of a new survey showing their views on the nation's economic future, CBS2's Dick Brennan reported.

"Your survey shows that 93 percent of manufacturers now have a positive outlook on the future of their business in this country. Ninety-three," he said. "It was just a few months ago at 56. That's a slight difference. That tells you something."

On another front, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said he's ready to talk to the Congressional committees looking into Russian interference in the election, but he wants immunity.

In a statement to CBS News, Flynn's attorney said, "General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it..." but added that he needs "assurances against unfair prosecution."

Trump defended Flynn on Twitter, saying he should get immunity against what he calls a witch hunt of historic proportions.

"He believes that Mike Flynn should go testify. He thinks he should go up there and do what he has to do to get the story out," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

Flynn was fired from his job as President Donald Trump's first national security adviser after it was disclosed that he misled the vice president about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the transition.

In a resignation letter, Flynn said he gave Pence and others "incomplete information" about his calls with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. The vice president, apparently relying on information from Flynn, initially said the national security adviser had not discussed sanctions with the Russian envoy, though Flynn later conceded the issue may have come up.

In the letter, he also blamed "the fast pace of events" during the presidential transition for causing him to "inadvertently leave out key details of phone calls with the Russian ambassador prior to inauguration."

It was later revealed after his firing that Flynn had worked as a foreign agent for Turkey last year, helping represent the country's interests. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the lobbying work took place while Flynn was a private citizen.

Flynn's ties to Russia have been scrutinized by the FBI and are under investigation by the House and Senate intelligence committees.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes refused to comment on the report that the White House was the secret source of his claims the Obama administration gathered intelligence on the Trump transition team.

"I'm not going to say anything," Nunes said.

The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, a Democrat, went to the White House on Friday to view documents at the invitation of the Trump administration.

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