CNN  — 

Over the past 72 hours, reporters from a number of outlets – including CNN – have turned up new information on the Trump team’s alleged conversations with Russians known to US intelligence.

President Donald Trump asked for the resignation of his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, on Monday night, amid new reports that Flynn had repeatedly discussed sanctions with Russian officials before Trump took office. But for every new detail, two new questions spring up. And a broader pattern of potential ethics issues becomes more difficult to ignore.

During a press conference Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump answered questions from reporters for the Christian Broadcasting Network (he said Flynn was a good man mistreated by the media) and the conservative website (he threw out years of US foreign policy doctrine regarding a two-state solution in the Middle East) — but he refused to acknowledge inquiries about reported contacts between his senior advisers and suspected Russian operatives.

Here are 21 questions on Russia, Flynn, and investigations now facing the White House. Some have been hinted or nudged at during press briefings, and others have been asked and answered – but in confusing or unsatisfying ways.

1. Did any top aides make repeated contact, as reported by CNN, with senior Russian officials before the November election?2. If yes, what was discussed?

3. After the election, but before becoming president, did you or any of your top aides instruct Michael Flynn to contact the Russian ambassador?

4. If yes – or if you were made aware of his plans – what topics was he instructed or permitted to discuss?

5. On Dec. 29, then-President Barack Obama announced new sanctions against Russia for their alleged meddling in the presidential election. Russian leaders quickly promised reciprocal action. But on Dec. 30, they switched gears and announced they would not to retaliate.

Did Flynn have a role in or encourage that unusual decision?

6. The White House has said Flynn’s dismissal was prompted by a violation of trust. That he misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of the calls.

Why then, after learning the truth eighteen days ago, did you wait until Monday to ask for his resignation?

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Spicer: Trump concluded there was no trust
05:29 - Source: CNN

7. Why did you wait two weeks, from January 26 to February 9, to inform Pence that Flynn had misled him?

8. Were you concerned that Flynn – as the Justice Department warned last month – was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians?

9. On Wednesday morning, you tweeted: “The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by “intelligence” like candy. Very un-American!”

Can we take this as confirmation that the leaked information is accurate?

10. On Monday afternoon, Kellyanne Conway told reporters Flynn had your “full confidence.” Sean Spicer said in a statement a little more than an hour later that you were “evaluating the situation.” By that evening, you had asked for and received Flynn’s resignation.

What changed over the course of the day?

11. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans on Capitol Hill said the Senate Intelligence Committee would likely investigate Flynn’s discussions with the Russians.

Would you support them if they did?

12. Are you aware that FBI agents reportedly questioned Flynn about his phone call with Russian agents?

13. Spicer on Tuesday said Flynn had been involved in “a series of other questionable instances.” He did not elaborate.

What were those “questionable instances”?

14. After North Korea test launched a missile this past weekend, you appeared to be briefed with potentially sensitive information in the presence of guests at your Mar-a-Lago club. Your spokesman has said you were simply discussing an upcoming impromptu press briefing. The House Oversight Committee will be looking into the incident.

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Spicer defends missile talk at Mar-a-Lago
01:37 - Source: CNN

Was any sensitive information discussed on the patio?

15. Is your phone properly encrypted?

16. Are your aides’ phones, the ones used as flashlights to help you read in the dark that night, properly encrypted?

17. Are you and your aides maintaining records of certain communications, as required by the Presidential Records Act?

18. Your chief of staff, Reince Priebus, was asked on Tuesday by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz to explain why the Mar-a-Lago meeting was conducted in public.

Will you cooperate with his investigation?

19. The Office of Government Ethics suggested that the White House take disciplinary action against Kellyanne Conway in response to her endorsement, in a televised interview, of Ivanka Trump’s products. She has since apologized to you.

Do you believe Conway did anything wrong and do you plan to take additional action?

20. Russia has now deployed a cruise missile in an apparent violation of international treaty and a Russian spy ship has been spotted off the East Coast of the US.

How does the administration plan to respond to this apparently provocative act?

21. The head of US Special Operations Command described the US government as being in “unbelievable turmoil” and said he hopes “they sort it out because we are a nation at war.” Does that characterization disturb you and what will you do to ease the turmoil?