FBI reviewed Flynn’s calls with Russian ambassador but found nothing illicit

The FBI in late December reviewed intercepts of communications between the Russian ambassador to the United States and retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn — national security adviser to then-President-elect Trump — but has not found any evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government, U.S. officials said.

The calls were picked up as part of routine electronic surveillance of Russian officials and agents in the United States, which is one of the FBI’s responsibilities, according to the U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss counterintelligence operations…

Although Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were listened to, Flynn himself is not the active target of an investigation, U.S. officials said. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that U.S. counterintelligence agents had investigated the communications between Flynn and Kislyak.

Of particular note was a Dec. 29 telephone conversation, initiated in an exchange of text messages the day before. Trump officials previously had said the call took place on the 28th. On the 29th, the Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia and expelled 35 officials from the Russian Embassy in response to what the U.S. intelligence community has said was interference in the presidential election on Trump’s behalf.