Donald Trump has responded to a guilty plea by his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying Mr Flynn's actions as a member of his transition team "were lawful".

Mr Flynn has entered a plea deal and agreed to co-operate with an inquiry into alleged collusion with Russia.

The deal, for a lesser charge than he might have faced, prompted speculation that he has incriminating evidence.

The president wrote on Twitter on Saturday that he had "nothing to hide".

Mr Flynn is co-operating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading an investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia ahead of the 2016 election.

On Saturday, a day after Mr Flynn's indictment, it emerged that a veteran FBI agent had been dismissed from Mr Mueller's team after the discovery that he had sent anti-Trump text messages.

Peter Strzok was removed from the investigation in summer, a spokesman for the special counsel's office, told the New York Times.

Russia scandal rears its head

Saturday should have been a momentous day for Mr Trump, after his sweeping tax reform bill finally scraped through the senate in the early hours of the morning with 51 votes to 49.

But any celebratory mood among administration officials would have been short-lived - dampened by a string of news reports on the Russia scandal.

In tweeting to deny that Mr Flynn had acted unlawfully as part of his transition team, Mr Trump appeared to admit that he knew the former general had lied to the FBI before he fired him, contradicting the president's account at the time.



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