Former Trump aide nomination to be Singapore envoy stalled over Russian Federation concerns

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The report comes one day after Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his s with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the month before Trump took office. "I mean, that's at a minimum", Corker said.

He added later, "If she did testify inappropriately, that's a big, big problem. And her nomination is frozen for a while until that gets out".

Trump earlier this year nominated McFarland, a former deputy national security adviser, to be the US envoy to Singapore. In a December 29 message about newly imposed Obama administration sanctions against Russia for its election interference, Ms. McFarland, then serving on Mr. Trump's transition team, told another transition official that Mr. Flynn would be talking to the Russian ambassador that evening.

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Booker also mentioned Flynn's 2015 trip to Moscow, where he attended a dinner hosted by a Kremlin-backed news network and was seated at the head table next to President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation.

"Did you ever discuss any of General Flynn's contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak directly with General Flynn?" asked Sen. An Associated Press on Friday identified McFarland as a senior transition official mentioned in court documents who discussed with Flynn in 2016 the US sanctions against Russian Federation and potential retaliation from Moscow.

Her written questions to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee did not acknowledge that conversation.

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"I am not aware of any of the issues or events described above", Ms. McFarland wrote in response, sidestepping a direct answer to the question.

The foreign relations committee approved the nomination in September despite the opposition of nearly every Democratic member, but no vote on McFarland has been scheduled in the full Senate.

For now, though, McFarland's nomination is on hold, and she hasn't publicly responded to questions about her exchange with Senator Booker.

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Her nomination is the longest pending State Department nomination for the administration - 173 days and counting, tied with a nominee for an undersecretary position selected on the same day as McFarland.

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