McFarland Contradicted Herself on Russia Contacts, Congressional Testimony Shows
An email sent during the transition by President Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, K.T. McFarland, appears to contradict the testimony she gave to Congress over the summer about contacts between the Russian ambassador and Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.
Ms. McFarland had told lawmakers that she did not discuss or know anything about interactions between Sergey I. Kislyak, who had been Moscow’s ambassador to the United States, and Mr. Flynn, according to Senate documents.
But emails obtained by The New York Times appear to undermine those statements. In a Dec. 29 message about newly imposed Obama administration sanctions against Russia for its election interference, Ms. McFarland, then serving on Mr. Trump’s transition team, told another transition official that Mr. Flynn would be talking to the Russian ambassador that evening.
The discrepancy is likely to add to mounting troubles for the White House that stem from Mr. Flynn’s interactions with Russian officials. He pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to F.B.I. agents about his discussions with Mr. Kislyak about the sanctions.
Repeated attempts to reach Ms. McFarland, who served until May as deputy national security adviser and is now awaiting Senate confirmation as ambassador to Singapore, were unsuccessful.
As part of the confirmation process, Ms. McFarland testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July. After the hearing, Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, asked her in writing: “Did you ever discuss any of General Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak directly with General Flynn?”
“I am not aware of any of the issues or events as described above,” Ms. McFarland replied.
Mr. Booker said in a statement on Monday that the newly surfaced emails were disconcerting.
“Recent developments suggest that Ms. McFarland gave false testimony to the United States Senate on a matter as significant as communications between the Russian government and the Trump transition team,” he said. “If this is the case, this is an alarming development, and another example of a pattern of deception on the part of Trump’s closest associates regarding their connections and communications to Russian government officials.”