US National Security Advisor’s Russia links probed: Report

Washington, Jan 23 (IANS) US counterintelligence agents have investigated National Security Advisor Michael Flynns communications with Russian officials, a media report said.

Flynn is the first person in the newly-inaugurated US President Donald Trump’s administration whose communications are known to have been combed as part of a multi-agency investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency, into whether the Russian government secretly helped elect the New York billionaire, The Hill magazine reported on Sunday night citing the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

In the report, the WSJ said it was unclear when the inquiry began or whether it produced any incriminating evidence. It was also not known if the matter was closed or ongoing.

The report came hours after Flynn was sworn in Sunday, along with other senior advisers.

The key focus is a series of calls Flynn made to Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak on December 29, the report said, the day former President Barack Obama’s administration announced sanctions against Russia.

The goal of the probe is to determine the nature of Flynn’s contact with Russian officials and whether it may have violated the law, people familiar with the matter told the WSJ.

But the White House denied the investigation on Sunday.

“We have absolutely no knowledge of any investigation or even a basis for such an investigation,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

The report follows a similar one from the New York Times published last week that said intelligence and law enforcement agencies are looking at intercepted communications and financial transactions from former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and campaign advisors Carter Page and Roger Stone.