President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 election, The Associated Press reported on Monday.
“Today, I plead guilty to a single count of making a false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Flynn, who had been under investigation for months, told a judge.
Flynn’s plea is a big deal, since the Trump administration has been accused of colluding with Russia during the election and leaking information to the news media to undermine the credibility of former FBI Director James Comey’s investigation into the matter.
Trump has maintained that the Russia investigation was politically motivated.
His administration has also sought to justify its actions by pointing to the fact that Flynn, like former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn Jr., was a Trump supporter.
“He’s a good guy, he’s a decent guy, and we had a good relationship with him,” Trump said of Flynn.
“And if he was a good person, he would’ve told the truth.”
Flynn had pleaded guilty earlier in the day to a misdemeanor charge of making false statements to the bureau, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison.
Flynn is expected to return to the U.S. in October.
He was previously arrested in Turkey on suspicion of fraud, and was released on bail after he failed to appear in court.