When speaking to reporters on Monday morning, President Donald Trump said that he feels “very badly” for Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser who pleaded guilty last week to making a false statement to the FBI and is cooperating with the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
The President to a moment to have a brief conversation with the White House press pool before boarding Marine One to begin a day trip to Utah. He suggested Flynn has been treated unfairly compared with 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“Well, I feel badly for Gen. Flynn. I feel very badly. He’s led a very strong life and I feel very badly. I will say this, Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI. Nothing happened to her. Flynn lied, and they destroyed his life. I think it’s a shame,” Trump said. “Hillary Clinton on the Fourth of July weekend went to the FBI, not under oath. It was the most incredible thing anyone’s ever seen. She lied many times, nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and it’s like they ruined his live. It’s very unfair.”
Clinton was interviewed in July 2015 as part of the FBI’s investigation into her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. It was widely reported that Clinton had lied during this interview, but former FBI director James Comey told the House Oversight Committee the following year that she did not lie, despite the fact that Clinton said she did not have classified emails on her private account when in reality she actually did.
Last Friday, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. regarding sanctions and a key United Nations Security Council vote during the presidential transition.
Trump responded on Twitter, saying: “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”
Since Flynn’s plea, the President has revved up his attacks on Hillary Clinton and the FBI, saying on twitter that the bureau is in “tatters.”