Members of the Trump transition team declared at the end of December via email that they feared the Obama administration sanctions, which were seen as a last-minute move by the Democrats to throw whatever they still could at the Russians at that time, would upset the Kremlin “which has just thrown the USA election” to Trump.
Although the White House Administration continues to claim that former General Mike Flynn acted alone in his contacts with the Russian ambassador Mr Sergey Kislyak before he was officially installed as Security Adviser, the contacts of Mr Flynn were at least discussed by the transition team which helped the Trump Administration prepare for the upcoming start of the Presidency.
One of the transition advisers, Ms Kathleen Troia McFarland (who is currently on track to become the next United States Ambassador to Singapore) wrote in an email on 29 December to Mr Thomas P. Bossert, now the president’s homeland security adviser, that the Obama administration’s decision to impose sanctions against Russia whilst at the same time expelling some of their diplomats was an effort to try to “box Trump in diplomatically with Russia” and in doing so would make it harder for the Trump presidential team to move on Iran and Syria because “Russia is key that unlocks door.”
Furthermore, Ms McFarland wrote in the email hours before Mr Flynn would meet with the Russian ambassador, the sanctions imposed would make it much harder for Mr. Trump to ease tensions with Russia “which has just thrown the U.S.A. election to him.”
Ms McFarland concluded by saying that “key will be Russia’s response over the next few days.”
The Trump Administration asked Mr McFarland to step out of her role as Deputy National Security Adviser in April of 2017, possibly to get rid of any personnel early on that could be linked to Mike Flynn.
Besides contacting the Russian ambassador, Mr. Flynn, allegedly at the request of the president’s son-in-law, Mr Jared Kushner, made openings with several other foreign officials to try and block a United Nations resolution condemning Israel over its building of settlements. All this was supposedly done before Mr. Flynn was sworn in as National Security Adviser.