In January 2017, Former FBI Director James Comey met with then-President Barack Obama and suggested that the National Security Council or NSC might not want to tell any sensitive information about Russia to then-incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
This information is based on a newly declassified email that Susan Rice, the former National Security Adviser, sent herself on the Inauguration Day of President Donald Trump.
Declassified email on Inauguration day
Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified the note from Susan Rice and transmitted the note to the Justice Department. According to the copy obtained by Fox News from GOP Sen. Ron Johnson's office, the email that Rice sent to herself on January 20, 2018, documented a meeting with Obama and others in the Oval Office back on January 5.
The email states that Obama said that law enforcement needs to investigate any Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections. Parts of the email were released except for the section with Comey's response as it was classified as top secret.
The top-secret section that was just revealed showed that Comey discussed his concerns about the conversations of Flynn with Russia's ambassador at the time of the elections. The said conversations would later be one of the cases filed against Flynn.
Rice wrote in the email that from the perspective of the national security, Comey stated that he has concerns that Flynn regularly talks to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He added that it could be an issue since they could be sharing sensitive information.
Obama then asked Comey in the meeting if it is best that Flynn was not given any sensitive information related to Russia. Rice then added that Comey stressed that he does not know if Flynn has told Kislyak about any classified information, but he noted that the frequent communication between the two was unusual.
On May 19, a representative for Rice released a statement and stressed that there was no discussion of law enforcement investigation or matters that took place that day. The spokeswoman also said that the Obama administration did not change the way that they briefed Flynn, as Rice briefed Flynn for 12 hours on four different occasions during the change of administration.
Rice representative Erin Pelton said in a tweet: "Ambassador Rice did not alter the way she briefed Michael Flynn on Russia as a result of Director Comey's response.
Russia's interception during the presidential race
Russian files was released as a part of the move from the Justice Department to drop its case against Flynn, but the newly declassified email from Rice brought renewed focus on the alleged Russian interference during the 2016 presidential elections.
The interview indicated that then-President Obama was aware of Flynn's relationship with Kislyak. Grenell's move to declassify the email of Rice came just after he declassified a list of officials during the Obama administration who requested to know Flynn and his relationship with Russia during the 2016 presidential race.
The list featured figures including former Vice President Biden, Comey, Brennan, Clapper, and Denis McDonough.
The attention on the discussions of the Obama administration has fueled a heated exchange of words in Washington over the Russian case, with President Trump describing it as the "the greatest political crime in the history of our country."