Reminder: Michael Flynn was President Donald Trump's former national security adviser.
"I am not aware of any of the issues or events as described above", McFarland replied.
An e-mail exchange obtained by The New York Times indicates that Ms McFarland was aware at the time of a crucial Dec 29 phone call between Flynn and Mr Kislyak that was intercepted by U.S. intelligence.
Alright, so some back story: McFarland used to be Michael Flynn's deputy national security adviser. In a December 29 message about newly imposed Obama administration sanctions against Russia for its election interference, Ms. McFarland, then serving on Mr. Trump's transition team, told another transition official that Mr. Flynn would be talking to the Russian ambassador that evening.
Former adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about reaching out to Russian officials.
At the hearing, prosecutors focused their attention on Mr. Flynn's association with Russian Federation during President Trump's campaign, before the outcome of the 2016 presidential election was decided.
But a December 29 email from McFarland, then a member of Trump's transition team, mentioned that Flynn would be talking to the Russian ambassador that evening, according to The New York Times.
As part of the confirmation process, McFarland was asked in writing a question about Flynn.
A White House lawyer said on Friday that Ms McFarland did not mean Russian Federation had tipped the election, only that Democrats were portraying it that way. McFarland was not mentioned in the court filings, but CNN has reported, citing sources familiar, that she was the transition official who spoke to Flynn. "Flynn could never ask Sergey Kislyak for anything, and furthermore these requests could never be passed on to the president of Russian Federation, this is completely absurd". The conversations with Russian Ambassador Kislyak were said to concern the sanctions placed on Russia by then President Obama relating to election meddling. Although initially combative about Russian involvement in the US election, the Trump administration is now full of senior officials who, with the exception of Trump himself, take a critical line on Putin's government.
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