McFarland was deputy to former national security adviser Flynn
CNN reported she spoke with the special counsel team, and Democrats are calling for her to testify before Congress
As the investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election continue, another former Trump official is making her way into headlines.
Two top Democrats on Sunday called for testimony from former Trump transition official KT McFarland after reports showed that she and incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn discussed his communications with Russia during the presidential transition process.
The call for testimony came as the latest development for McFarland, who last year went from Fox News to President Donald Trump’s national security team and now awaits a diplomatic post in Singapore.
Weeks after the election last year, the Trump team announced McFarland would serve as Flynn’s deputy on the National Security Council.
“So proud & honored to have KT McFarland as part of our National Security team. She will help us #MAGA,” former Gen. Flynn tweeted last year, adding the hashtag acronym for Make America Great Again.
The appointment meant McFarland would work closely with Flynn, who at the time was one of the key officials headed for the White House.
Days later, McFarland took down her website and social media accounts. But a CNN review of her past statements showed she called years ago for former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to be tried for treason for providing a trove of classified documents to WikiLeaks, which she called a “terrorist organization,” and to be executed if guilty.
Manning was found not guilty of the charge of “aiding the enemy,” but was convicted on other charges and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. After years of incarceration at Fort Leavenworth, an all-male Army prison, then-President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence as one of his final acts in office.
The CNN review of McFarland’s statements showed she warmed to WikiLeaks to some extent, quoting from its release of stolen Democratic Party emails to criticize Hillary Clinton – who McFarland once challenged for a seat in the US Senate.
Court documents from Friday outlining Flynn’s charge and plea agreement described a transition official who spoke with Flynn about what he should convey to Sergey Kislyak, who at the time was the Russian ambassador to the United States, about US sanctions. CNN reported McFarland was this transition official.
The New York Times reported that McFarland wrote in an email last December that Russia had “thrown” the US presidential election for Trump, although the Times said the meaning of that statement was unclear; a White House lawyer told the Times that McFarland’s comment meant only that Democrats were painting Russia’s role in the election that way.
After the inauguration, Flynn and McFarland helmed the White House national security team in its opening weeks, until reports showed Flynn was untruthful about his communications with Kislyak. Shortly after, Flynn was ousted from the job, and McFarland’s continued role as deputy was uncertain, particularly after Trump settled on a permanent replacement for Flynn, Lt. Gen. HR McMaster.
CNN reported in April that McFarland would step down from the National Security Council, and at the time, an official said Trump would appoint her to be the US ambassador to Singapore.
Trump formally nominated her for the diplomatic position in June, and she awaits confirmation by the Senate.
Two Democratic senators – Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee – said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that McFarland should testify before Congress about Russia.
CNN reported McFarland had already spoken with investigators for the special counsel probe led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.