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Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 10:48 AM
Updated: Friday, December 01, 2017 @ 10:00 AM
— Updated on Nov. 3, 2017
Michael Flynn resigned his position of national security adviser on Feb. 13 in the wake of reports that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his contacts with Russia.
After days of denying the reports, then eventually saying that he was not sure if he discussed sanctions against Russia with Russian officials, Flynn finally said that discussions of sanctions "may have come up" during several calls with the Russian ambassador. The calls were made before Donald Trump was sworn in as president.
In April, the inspector general of the Department of Defense opened an investigation into whether Flynn reported money he received for a speaking appearance in Russia in 2015.
Flynn is alleged to have taken $45,000 for speaking at an engagement in Russia in 2015.
When the investigation was opened, Rep. Elijah Cummings, (D-Maryland), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, released letters from the Defense Intelligence Agency – an agency Flynn once headed -- stating that they found no record that Flynn had sought permission to speak in Russia, nor had he reported income from that speech.
A U.S. official, which Flynn as a retired military officer would be considered, must both seek permission and report income derived from any activity with a foreign government.
In 2014, Flynn reportedly received a warning from the DIA about receiving payments from foreign governments without congressional approval.
On Monday (Oct. 30) special counsel Robert Mueller announced indictments against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and associate Rick Gates on charges of conspiracy against the United States, being an unregistered foreign agent, money laundering, and failing to file reports of foreign bank and accounts.
Earlier in the month, Campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos pled guilty to lying to the FBI as part of a cooperation agreement with Mueller. Papadopoulos was arrested in July.
Here’s a timeline of events of Flynn’s tenure as national security adviser and beyond:
Nov. 18, 2016 – Trump announces that Flynn has been offered the post of national security adviser. Flynn accepts the job.
Dec. 28, 2016 – Flynn and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, exchange Christmas text messages by cellphone.
Dec. 29, 2016 – President Barack Obama announces sanctions against Russia for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. He orders 35 Russian diplomats out of the country.
Dec. 29, 2016 – On the same day, Flynn calls the Russian ambassador. The New York Times reports that Flynn, according to officials who saw a transcript of the wiretapped conversation between Flynn and Kislyak, discussed the sanctions that the Obama administration had imposed on Russia.
Jan. 13, 2017 – The Wall Street Journal reports, for the first time, Flynn's talks with the Russian ambassador.
Jan. 14, 2017 – According to Pence, Flynn tells him that he and Kislyak did not talk about Russian sanctions.
Jan. 15, 2017 – Pence appears on “Fox News Sunday” and says that Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador “were not in any way related to the new U.S. sanctions against Russia or the expulsion of diplomats.”
Jan. 20, 2017 – Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.
Jan. 22, 2017 – The Wall Street Journal reports that Flynn is under investigation by U.S. counterintelligence for the phone calls to the Russian ambassador.
Late January: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informs the White House counsel of Flynn's misleading statements.
Feb. 8, 2017 – Flynn, in an interview with the Washington Post, denies discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador.
Feb. 9, 2017 -- Flynn's spokesman tells the Washington Post that Flynn "indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up."
Feb. 10, 2017 – Trump, on the way to Mar-a-Lago, tells reporters aboard Air Force One he had not seen the reports about Flynn. "I don't know about that," he says. "I haven't seen it.”
Feb. 11/12, 2017 – Flynn stays the weekend at Mar-a-Lago.
Feb. 12, 2017 – Pence says on CBS that he spoke to Flynn about the phone call and the conversation had "nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions.”
Feb. 13, 2017 – White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says around 5 p.m. that the administration has “full confidence” in Flynn. Minutes later, Sean Spicer, press spokesman for the White House, issues a statement that reads: “The president is evaluating the situation. He's speaking to the vice president relative to the conversation the vice president had with Gen. Flynn, and also speaking to various other people about what he considers the single most important subject there is: our national security.” The Washington Post reports at 8 p.m. that the Justice Department told White House officials that Flynn “mischaracterized his communications."
Feb. 13, 2017 – Flynn resigns his position of national security adviser just before 11 p.m.
“Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador,” Flynn wrote in his resignation letter. “I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology.
“I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way."
Feb. 13, 2017 – Lt. Gen. Joseph K. Kellogg Jr. is named acting national security adviser just after 11 p.m.
Feb. 20, 2017 – Gen. H.R. McMaster is sworn in as national security adviser.
Oct. 5, 2017 – Papadopoulos pleads guilty to lying to the FBI as part of a cooperation agreement with Mueller.
Oct. 30, 2017 – Mueller’s office indicts Manafort and associate Gates on charges of conspiracy against the United States, being an unregistered foreign agent, money laundering, and seven counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.
Dec. 1, 2017 – Flynn is indicted on charges he lied to the FBI. He pleaded guilty to the charges.
BREAKING: Michael Flynn releases statement following guilty plea to special counsel's charges pic.twitter.com/gLy3JKpMbm— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 1, 2017
Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 11:16 PM
— Just two days after the death of former first lady Barbara Bush, her granddaughter Lauren Bush Lauren and her husband, David, welcomed Max Walker Lauren to the family.
According to a Facebook post from Barbara’s Bush son Neil Bush, Max was born on Thursday. Arriving two weeks before his mom’s due date, the baby boy weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces.
Neil shared the news Friday morning and spoke about his mother’s passing as well as recognizing the moment as part of the circle of life:
“Maria and I were so blessed to spend lots of time with mom and dad during mom's last weeks and we are so grateful for the condolences and the outpouring of love expressed towards her by many, many friends. Barbara Bush was loved by everyone. She lived a remarkable life blessing family, friends, and total strangers around the world. Mom left on her own terms. In the final hours she was comfortable, loving, surrounded by family, holding hands with dad. Maria and I will always be grateful for being able to say a proper goodbye to our wonderful mother. And then two days later, yesterday morning, two weeks before her due date, Lauren Bush Lauren gave birth to a beautiful 7 lb 8 oz baby boy Max Walker Lauren. The circle of life. God is good.”
Bush’s daughter Lauren is married to the son of fashion designer Ralph Lauren. Lauren and David were married in 2011 and had their first son in 2015.
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 2:13 AM
HOUSTON — Former President George Herbert Walker Bush was hospitalized Sunday in Houston after an infection spread to his blood, just days after the death of his wife, Barbara.
"He is responding to treatments and appears to be recovering," his spokesman, Jim McGrath, tweeted Monday.
Here are nine things you should know about Bush, who served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993:
1. He has a form of Parkinson's disease. The former president uses a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around.
2. He is "the longest-living president in U.S. history," Time reported last November. The 93-year-old Bush, born June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, is 111 days older than the second longest-living U.S. president, Jimmy Carter.
3. He and Barbara had the longest marriage of any presidential couple in U.S. history. The pair wed Jan. 6, 1945.
4. He graduated from Yale in 1948. According to CNN, he earned his bachelor's degree in economics in just 2 1/2 years.
5. He has five living children: George W., John (known as Jeb), Neil, Marvin and Dorothy. George W. Bush served two terms as president from 2001 to 2009. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ran for the Republican nomination in the run-up to November's election, but lost his bid to President Donald Trump.
Another child, Pauline Robinson "Robin" Bush, died as a child in 1953 after being diagnosed with leukemia, The Washington Post reported.
6. He served in the Navy during World War II. Bush, who reportedly enlisted on his 18th birthday in 1942, flew 58 combat missions during the war, including one that required he be rescued by a submarine after his plane was hit by Japanese anti-aircraft fire. For his bravery, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
7. He launched his political career in 1963. He served as a congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan's vice president.
8. In 1989, he became the first sitting vice president to win the presidency since 1837. According to CNN, he "offered his predecessors — Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan — secure telephones so he could reach them day or night."
9. He "has parachuted eight times," CNN reported. His most recent skydive was a tandem jump in celebration of his 90th birthday.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 6:40 PM
WELCH, Okla. — Investigators made a break in the 1999 disappearance of two Welch, Oklahoma, girls.
Officials charged Ronnie Busick in connection with their disappearance, according to KOKI.
Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible were 16 years old in 1999, when they planned a sleepover to celebrate Freeman's birthday.
The day after the sleepover, firefighters found Freeman's parents, Danny and Kathy Freeman, shot to death in their burned-out home. The girls, however, had disappeared.
For years, investigators searched for answers, interviewed several potential suspects and pleaded for information surrounding the girls' disappearance.
KOKI reported in 2017 that "extremely valuable" information was turned over by Craig County Sheriff Heath Winfrey.
Officials said they charged Busick Sunday in connection with the case. He faces four charges of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and a final count of arson.
Busick is currently in custody in Newston, Kansas, according to investigators.
Here are the most recent DOC pictures of Ronnie Busick, he's in custody now in Newton, Kansas.— Tiffany Alaniz (@TiffanyAlaniz) April 23, 2018
Investigators say Busick, Welch, & Pennington killed Danny & Kathy, burned down their home and kidnapped Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman. They still need tips to find bodies. @FOX23 pic.twitter.com/93MVLE450s
At least two other people were involved in the case, they said. Those two, identified as Warren Phillip Welch and David Pennington, have since died.
Members of the victim’s families learned Lauria and Ashley were likely kept alive some time after their disappearance, but they have since died. Their bodies have not been recovered.
An affidavit claimed Welch kept photographs in a leather briefcase that showed the girls bound and gagged at his Picher home during their last days. According to the affidavit, multiple people said they had seen the pictures, but the suspects reportedly threatened them.
Ballard says there are polaroid pictures taken of Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman taken after they were kidnapped that have been seen my many people. Investigators do not know exactly how long they were alive after they were kidnapped. @FOX23— Tiffany Alaniz (@TiffanyAlaniz) April 23, 2018
The affidavit claimed the girls were tied up, drugged and raped before they were killed. It said the girls were strangled and their bodies were dumped into a pit, which may have been a mine shaft near Picher.
Multiple people told investigators that both Welch and Pennington dealt methamphetamine, according to the affidavit. One person reportedly told investigators that Pennington had said the girls had entered a room where Freeman’s parents were buying drugs on the night of the crime.
Another witness reportedly said that a conversation between Welch, Pennington and Busick had implied that the Freeman parents had been murdered over a debt. That witness said the suspects had also hinted that they had taken the two girls and eventually killed them, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit said an insurance card found near the scene connected to a car that investigators believed to be connected to a vehicle in Welch's possession helped them in the case.
It said that the suspects had threatened the lives of people who may have had information about the crimes.
Investigators said they still need people to come forward about where the girls' bodies may be. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-522-8017 or via email at email@example.com.
Officials said a private reward of $50,000 still stands for information related to the location of the girls.
Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 11:21 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton surprised 20 children from Special Olympics North Carolina at a surprise shopping event at a Dick’s Sporting Goods in Barclay Downs, North Carolina, on Monday afternoon.
Each child got a $200 gift card and spent time shopping with Newton, who served as a personal shopping consultant to the children and helped them buy fun sporting goods. Dick's Sporting Goods and the Cam Newton Foundation sponsored the event as part of their efforts to inspire and enable youth sports.
The Special Olympics athletes are participating in the Mecklenburg County Spring Games this week. More than 1,300 Special Olympics athletes are competing in this year’s Spring Games, which include track and field, motor sports, softball and swimming events.
“You see a lot of smiles on these children’s faces and that's contagious,” Newton said.https://twitter.com/CoreyWSOC9/status/988550497652092928?tfw_site=wsoctv&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wsoctv.com%2Fnews%2Flocal%2Fcam-newton-surprises-special-olympic-athletes-with-shopping-spree%2F737222180