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Until now, the White House has claimed that Trump fired Flynn just because he lied to Pence.

The president's comments come the day after his former national security adviser pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

This would blow up about a hundred Trump camp denials that there was coordinated high-level campaign contact with Russian Federation, and would suggest that Russia-related actions personally undertaken by Trump in 2016 (as opposed to merely the actions of his top lieutenants and/or family members) are under law enforcement scrutiny. "There was nothing to hide!"

Mueller was appointed in May to lead the Justice Department's investigation into whether President Trump or any of his associates colluded with Russian during the 2016 White House race. However, it seems like he may be admitting to information he knew before but did not share. If today's tweet is true, he then lied to Comey to get him to drop an investigation, knowing full well Flynn had lied to the FBI. Flynn Jr. also acted briefly as his father's chief of staff during the transition, but was forced to resign after his frequent tweets on conspiracy theories. "Yet Trump tried to influence or stop the FBI investigation on Flynn", Lieu tweeted. The White House has denied that the conversation occurred as Comey described. The developments are a sign that the investigation is intensifying, and details revealed Friday provide the clearest picture yet of coordination between Flynn and other Trump advisers in their contact with Russian officials to influence worldwide policy.

"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go", Trump reportedly told Comey.

Mr Trump has been publicly dismissive of Mr Comey and of special counsel Robert Mueller's continuing investigation, and was often generous in his appraisal of Flynn, except to say his adviser could not stay in the job after misleading his vice president.

According to that same memo, Trump specifically told Comey in that conversation that Flynn had done nothing wrong.

Vladeck added: "I can't speak to how the special counsel would view this statement, but it betrays an alarming lack of understanding of the relevant legal rules on the President's part, or of the serious legal jeopardy he could be in for actions he may wrongly believe are appropriate". According to the newspapers, federal law enforcement officials became concerned that Trump and his supporters could use the exposure of the text messages to attack the credibility of Mueller's investigation.

"No I'm not", Trump said in his first public remarks on the plea deal. No collusion. There's been absolutely, absolutely no collusion, so we're very happy.