On Dec. 29, 2016, Donald Trump transition team member K. T. McFarland, wrote in an email to a teammate that sanctions announced hours before by President Obama's administration in retaliation for Russian election meddling would discredit Mr. Trump’s victory. She added the sanctions could also make it harder for Mr. Trump to ease tensions with Russia “which has just thrown the U.S.A. election to him.”
A White House lawyer stated Friday that she meant only that Democrats were portraying it that way although that reference doesn't appear in the text of the email. Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner said Sunday that McFarland, the former deputy national security adviser, needs to provide testimony to Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller. President Trump nominated McFarland to be the U.S. Ambassador to Singapore.
Sent from McFarland to Bossert, who fwded it to 6 advisers in Dec 2016 incl Priebus, Bannon & Spicer: “The sanction… https://t.co/6i82SkS6Wd— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈) 1512325201.0
While Trump calls any claims that he or his aides had unusual interactions with Russian officials "fake news", records related to Trump administration former national security adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea suggest the Trump transition team, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, was intensely focused on improving relations with Moscow. The team was willing to intervene to pursue that goal despite a request from the Obama administration that it not create confusion about official American policy before Mr. Trump took office.
2/ The reason Flynn, and Pence, and Trump, and the whole Presidential Transition Team, and Trump Jr., and Priebus,… https://t.co/hTBxqpowiV— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson) 1512325900.0
The Trump advisers feared a cycle of retaliation between the United States and Russia would keep the spotlight on Moscow’s election meddling. As part of the outreach, Ms. McFarland wrote, Mr. Flynn would be speaking with the Russian ambassador, Mr. Kislyak, hours after Mr. Obama’s sanctions were announced.
“Key will be Russia’s response over the next few days,” Ms. McFarland wrote in an email to another transition official, Thomas P. Bossert, now the president’s homeland security adviser.
It's unclear if McFarland's previous ties to Russia were the reason she was selected for the transition team headed by Vice President Pence.
Nice little @FoxNews Op-Ed written by K.T McFarland back in 2013. You literally can’t make this shit up... https://t.co/bd7Bk74mLV— Danny Ocean (@Danny Ocean) 1512374382.0