The White House remained silent Sunday about the future of President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, as a top aide described as a “sensitive matter” the reports that Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions with a Russian ambassador before Trump’s inauguration.
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that the administration did not give him “anything to say” about the situation.
Asked whether the president still has confidence in Flynn, Miller wouldn’t answer, saying, “I’m here today as a policy adviser.” Miller said Flynn, a retired three-star Army lieutenant general, has served “admirably.”
There are indications that Flynn may have misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about conversations with the Russian ambassador, according to news reports.
Pence told CBS News last month that Flynn didn’t speak with Russia about sanctions.
The communications between Flynn and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak were first reported last Thursday by The Washington Post.
Miller was pressed Sunday by ABC News “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos on why he came on the show if he couldn’t answer questions about Flynn for the White House.
“I don’t have any information, George, to change anything that has previously already been said by the White House on this matter,” Miller said.
Miller served as a spokesman for the White House on the Sunday talk-show circuit after a tumultuous week for the Trump administration, which included a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the suspension of his controversial executive action that, in part, temporarily bars U.S. entry to nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries.
“We have equal branches of government in this country. The judiciary is not supreme,” Miller told ABC News’ “This Week.”
On “Fox News Sunday,” he said all options on the travel ban are on the table, including a new executive order and appealing the decision. But, he said, the Constitution gives the president power to determine issues of immigration.
“The president’s powers here are beyond question,” he said.
Host Chris Wallace noted the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found the federal courts could review the constitutionality of executive actions. “Stephen, the three judges say you are flat wrong,” Wallace said.
Miller called the decision “a broad, overreaching statement about the ability to check the executive power.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Trump administration shouldn’t even bother trying to rework or narrow the travel ban to make it pass legal muster.
“I think he ought to throw it in the trash,” the New York Democrat said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” arguing that in addition to being “un-American,” the executive order doesn’t target the lone wolves who have been recent terror suspects.
“It doesn’t really make us safer,” Schumer said.
Trump, who was scheduled to return to Washington, D.C., on Sunday night after a weekend hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, also weighed in Sunday on the travel ban.
“72% of refugees admitted into U.S. (2/3 -2/11) during COURT BREAKDOWN are from 7 countries: SYRIA, IRAQ, SOMALIA, IRAN, SUDAN, LIBYA & YEMEN,” the president tweeted, though he had posted a day earlier that 77 percent were admitted.