GOP intel member raises Flynn concern, Pelosi seeks firing

Story highlights

  • Lawmakers are responding to reports that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn misled the White House
  • Democrats are seeking Flynn's removal and at least one Republican has said they have concerns

Washington (CNN)A top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee raised concerns Monday over reports that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn hid his discussions with Russian officials.

"It would be very difficult for me to continue to rely on someone in such a vital position if I found out the person had not been truthful in describing his conversations with important foreign nationals prior to the appointment," Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, told CNN Monday. "But it really isn't my call. That's going to be the president's call."
President Donald Trump has expressed concerns with top aides about the amount of negative press Flynn has been getting, after reports that he discussed sanctions with Russian officials prior to Trump's inauguration and the chance that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his involvement.
    Democrats, meanwhile, have continued pressing on the exposed divide inside the Trump White House. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called on Trump to fire Flynn immediately.
    "Michael Flynn's conduct was alarming enough before his secret communications with the Russians were exposed. Now, we have a National Security Advisor who cannot be trusted not to put Putin before America," Pelosi said in a statement Monday.
    Republicans in Congress are continuing work this week on a string of Trump Cabinet nominees and investigations from the House and Senate into allegations that Russia interfered with the election continue.
    But Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the committee met last Thursday and reports of Flynn's communications with Russian officials did not come up then.
    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes downplayed any concerns about Flynn's job security, saying "I think he is going to be just fine. I don't think he is going anywhere."
    Nunes then blasted the media and people inside the intelligence community for the stories about Flynn.
    "It's one of those Catch-22 situations: he's on the phone with the Russian ambassador -- which he ought to be on the phone with the Russian ambassador, that's a major country, we have big problems with them, it's natural that he would be talking to them," Nunes, a California Republican, said. He then mocked the media for its coverage, "And for someone to leak out a partial transcript or a piece of it, where, you know 'Wow! This is a shocking thing where the Russian ambassador would bring up sanctions right in the middle of this when they're going on.' I don't think any of that is news."