Flynn, who was in the Dominican Republic at the time, and K.T. McFarland, who was slated to become the Deputy National Security Advisor and was at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida with the President-Elect and other senior staff, talked by phone about what, if anything, Flynn should communicate to Kislyak about the sanctions.82 McFarland had spoken with incoming Administration ofﬁcials about the sanctions and Russia’s possible responses and thought she had mentioned in those conversations that Flynn was scheduled to speak with Kislyak.83 Based on those conversations, McFarland informed Flynn that incoming Administration officials at Mar-a- Lago did not want Russia to escalate the situation.“4 At 4:43 pm. that afternoon, McFarland sent an email to several ofﬁcials about the sanctions and informed the group that “Gen [F]1ynn is talking to russian ambassador this evening.”85 Approximately one hour later, McFarland met with the President-Elect and senior ofﬁcials and briefed them on the sanctions and Russia’s possible responses.86 Incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus recalled that McFarland may have mentioned at the meeting that the sanctions situation could be “cooled down” and not escalated.87 McFarland recalled that at the end of the meeting, someone may have mentioned to the President-Elect that Flynn was speaking to the Russian Ambassador that evening.88 McFarland did not recall any response by the President~ Elect.89 Priebus recalled that the President-Elect viewed the sanctions as an attempt by the Obama Administration to embarrass him by delegitimizing his election.90 Immediately after discussing the sanctions with McFarland on December 29, 2016, Flynn called Kislyak and requested that Russia respond to the sanctions only in a reciprocal manner, without escalating the situation.91 After the call, Flynn briefed McFarland on its substance.” Flynn told McFarland that the Russian response to the sanctions was not going to be escalatory because Russia wanted a good relationship with the Trump Administration.93 On December 30, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would not take retaliatory measures 82 Statement of Offense at 2-3, United States v. Michael T. Flynn, 1:17—cr~232 (D-D.C. Dec. 1, 2017), Doc. 4 (Flynn Statement of Offense); Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 3-4; Flynn 11/20/17 302, at 3; , McFarland 12/22/ 17 302, at 6~7. 83 McFarland 12/22/ 17 302, at 4-7 (recalling discussions about this issue with Bannon and Priebus). 3" Flynn Statement of Offense, at 3; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 3-4; McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 6-7. 85 12/29/ 16 Email, McFarland to Flynn et a1. 86 McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 7. “7 Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 3. 33 McFarland 12/22/ 17 302, at 7. Priebus thought it was possible that McFarland had mentioned Flynn’s scheduled call with Kislyak at this meeting, although he was not certain. Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 3. 89 McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 7. 9° Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 3. 9‘ Flynn Statement of Offense, at 3; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 3-4. _ 92 Flynn Statement of Offense, at 3; McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 7-8; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 4. 93 McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 8.
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