President Donald Trump on Friday declined to say if he would pardon Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser who recently pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
“I don’t want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn yet. We’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House to deliver a speech to FBI academy graduates.
“Let’s see. I can say this: When you look at what’s gone on with the FBI and with the Justice Department, people are very, very angry.”
Flynn pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of making false statements to the FBI about his communications with Russia on Dec. 1. He made two false statements about his interactions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in late December 2016, according to court documents.
Flynn is the first senior White House official to be charged in the special counsel’s investigation into Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election and the first to officially agree to cooperate.
A source close to the White House previously told NBC News that the Trump administration was “blindsided” by the news of Flynn’s plea.
Trump on Friday decried the “sad” state of the FBI and he promised to reform the agency before he referred to recently released messages, between an FBI lawyer and an agent later assigned to Mueller’s investigation, that were critical of him.
Trump’s already shown he’s not hesitant to exercise his pardon power. In August, he pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt for ignoring a judge’s order not to detain suspected undocumented immigrants.
Ty Cobb, one of the president’s lawyers, told NBC News that there is no consideration being given to a pardon for Flynn at this time.