A cache of emails from President Donald Trump's transition team has raised questions about Michael Flynn acting as a "rogue" agent, with one national security advisor quoted in an email saying Russia "has just thrown U.S.A. election to him," according to a report in The New York Times.
The Times story suggests former national security advisor Michael Flynn acted with the knowledge of other senior members of the Trump team. In a series of electronic communications, Flynn kept key transition figures in the loop before and after conversations he had with a Russian diplomat, the publication reported.
In one email sent on Dec. 29, K.T. McFarland addressed Trump advisor Tom Bossert, about President Barack Obama's decision to impose sanctions on Russia for election interference. At the time, McFarland was transition advisor; she later became deputy national security advisor under Michael Flynn.
"If there is a tit-for-tat escalation, Trump will have difficulty improving relations with Russia, which has just thrown U.S.A. election to him," she wrote.
However, the report also stated that it was unclear whether McFarland meant "thrown" literally. A White House lawyer told the Times that McFarland was not saying she believed the election had been thrown. The attorney said she only meant that that was what Democrats were saying at the time.
Trump was scheduled to have a call at 5 p.m. that day with McFarland shortly after the email was sent, but it is not clear whether that meeting actually happened, the Times wrote.
Bossert forwarded the exchange to six other White House staffers. The Times said they included Reince Priebus, the appointee to become chief of staff, senior advisor Stephen Bannon and Sean Spicer, who would become press secretary. Bossert also forwarded the exchange to Flynn.
The same day that McFarland sent the email, Flynn called McFarland to discuss what he should communicate to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about the sanctions.