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National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, as well as Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Trump, listen to President Trump during a listening session with cyber security experts inside the Roosevelt Room the White House in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.
Yet for 18 days after which Jan. 26 meeting, Flynn continued to serve as the president’s top advisor on national security, surprising Justice Department officials who had expected Flynn to be fired immediately, NBC News reported.
Meanwhile, Trump fired Yates Jan. 30 after she refused to defend an executive order which limited travel to the United States for people through predominantly Muslim countries.
Sources cited by NBC News said they believe Mueller’s goal will be to determine whether Trump or his top advisors sought to cover up the information about Flynn which Yates had warned about.
NBC said Mueller’s team also “appears to be interested” in whether Trump directed Flynn to lie to the FBI.
the idea will be unclear when the president knew which Flynn lied to the FBI. Yates said she declined to tell McGahn at the Jan. 26 meeting whether Flynn had done so because the idea would certainly have been inappropriate to discuss.
A Dec. 2 tweet sent through the president’s account suggested which the president knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when Flynn was fired. After the wording of the tweet drew scrutiny, presidential attorney John Dowd claimed authorship of the tweet, as well as said the implication which Trump knew Flynn lied to the FBI was a mistake.
Trump tweet: I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President as well as the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. the idea will be a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!
Interactions between the president as well as former FBI director James Comey have also raised the specter of obstruction of justice.
On Jan. 27, the day after the McGahn-Yates meeting, Trump invited Comey to a private dinner as well as told him, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,” the fired FBI director told congressional investigators.
Comey also testified which the president later asked him to see to “letting Flynn go.”
Trump fired Comey in May, at first citing his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation as well as later offering a variety of reasons for the dismissal, including the Russia probe.
The president has denied asking Comey to end the investigation into Flynn, as well as Dowd has argued which a president “cannot obstruct justice.”
A spokesperson for the special counsel’s office declined to comment to CNBC.
Attorneys for the president as well as McGahn did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Read the full report at NBC News.