A federal judge accused President Donald Trump's former national security chief Michael Flynn Tuesday of selling out the United States but agreed to delay his sentencing for lying over secret communications with Russian officials. Judge Emmet Sullivan said Flynn had behaved in a "traitorous" manner while he was in the White House in early 2017 and threatened to impose a stiff prison sentence, rejecting a recommendation by prosecutors that the retired three-star general benefit from cooperating and receive no jail time. It was a sharp and unexpected rebuke to the highest-ranked Trump aide so far to face a judge in the Russian collusion investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
"The only thing he said is that we would take a look at it," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. "Nothing further at this point beyond that ... nothing committal at all in that process." Turkey's foreign minister said on Sunday that Trump told Erdogan that Washington was working on extraditing the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who has lived in self-imposed U.S. exile for nearly two decades. Asked about the comment on Monday, another White House official said only that Trump did not commit to extraditing Gulen when he spoke to Erdogan at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires last month.
A U.S. judge fiercely criticized President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Tuesday for lying to FBI agents in a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and delayed sentencing him until Flynn has finished helping prosecutors. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan told Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, that he had arguably betrayed his country. Sullivan also noted that Flynn had operated as an undeclared lobbyist for Turkey even as he worked on Trump's campaign team and prepared to be his White House national security adviser.