The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday abruptly sought to drop the criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, following mounting pressure from Trump's political allies on the right.
The move comes as Flynn has been seeking to withdraw his 2017 guilty plea in which he admitted to lying to the FBI about interactions with Russia's ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak in the weeks before Trump took office.
Flynn was one of several former Trump aides to plead guilty or be convicted at trial in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation that detailed Moscow's interference in the 2016 U.S. election to boost Trump's candidacy as well as numerous contacts between Trump's campaign and Russia.
- Could we get your reaction to some breaking news? The Justice Department has decided to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn. Are you aware of that?
DONALD TRUMP: I didn't know that was happening at this moment. I felt it was going to happen just by watching and seeing like everybody else does. He was an innocent man. He is a great gentleman. He was targeted by the Obama administration, and he was targeted in order to try and take down a president.
And what they've done is a disgrace. And I hope a big price is going to be paid. A big price should be paid. It's never been anything like this in the history of our country. So I'm very happy for General Flynn. He was a great warrior, and he still is a great warrior. Now in my book, he's an even greater warrior.
What happened to him should never happen again, and what happened to this presidency, to go through all of that and still do more than any president has ever done in the first three years, it's pretty amazing when you think of it with what we've done with regulations and tax cuts and Second Amendment and all of the things we've done.
It's never happened. And until two months ago, we had the greatest economy in history. Unfortunately, we had to-- like you did in Texas, we had to close it down. But for these people to have done that, I am very proud of General Flynn. I can tell you that right now.