Email: Comey warned Obama that it was 'potentially' dangerous to share Russian info with Flynn

The director reportedly had 'no indication' at the time that Flynn had shared sensitive information with Kislyak

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Former FBI Director James Comey
Former FBI Director James Comey
(SAUL LOEB/Getty)
Last Updated:
May 19, 2020 - 4:47pm

Former FBI Director James Comey warned President Obama in early January 2017 that it was "potentially" dangerous to share "sensitive" information on Russia with Gen. Michael Flynn, a newly declassified email reveals. 

The email, sent by then-National Security Advisor Susan Rice to herself on the day of President Trump's inauguration, had previously been largely declassified, though one paragraph remained under wraps until Monday.

The message describes a discussion between Comey, Rice, Obama, Vice President Biden and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates on Jan. 20, 2017, in which Obama stressed that his administration should "ascertain if there is any reason we cannot share information fully [with the Trump administration] as it relates to Russia." 

In the declassified paragraph, Rice writes that, at the time, Comey told Obama that he had “some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak.”

Comey “said that could be an issue as it relates to sharing sensitive information.”

Asked by Obama if Flynn should be prevented from learning sensitive intelligence about Russia, Comey allegedly told him, “Potentially.”

The director admitted that he had “no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak,” but that “the level of communication [between the two] is unusual.”

Other newly declassified documents suggest Comey ordered two FBI agents to go to the White House during the early days of the Trump administration to interview then-National Security Advisor Flynn about contact with Russian officials, despite knowing that no members of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign had colluded with Russia, which should have effectively ended the federal investigation. 

Comey said in a TV interview several months ago about his decision to break protocol and send the agents to the White House: "I probably wouldn't have done or gotten away with it in a more organized investigation – a more organized administration.”