WASHINGTON — Sean Spicer briefed reporters at the White House Tuesday. The press secretary answered questions about reports that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn — Donald Trump’s former national security adviser — may have broken laws when he failed to disclose payments on his security clearance form that he received from the media organization Russia Today, which is considered to be an arm of the Russian government.
On Mike Flynn
Did Flynn break a law? “That would be a question for him and a law enforcement agency. I don’t know what he filled out or what he did and did not do, he filled that form out prior to coming here.”
“All the information they are talking about occurred prior to when he worked at the White House,” Spicer said. “Right now, to ask the White House to produce documents that were not in the possession of the White House is ridiculous.”
Spicer did acknowledge that a payment from Russia Today would be considered a payment from a foreign government.
“If they were an employee of the White House, absolutely.”
On if the wall is ‘delayed’
“There will be a wall built,” Spicer said. “It’s important to prevent human trafficking, gangs, drugs.”
“The president has been clear he wants a wall, and he wants it done as soon as we can do it.”
“No one said delayed.”
On the 20 percent tax on imported Canadian softwood lumber
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who made a surprise appearance at the briefing, said the move had nothing to do with the president’s relationship with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“This was not a presidential decision,” Ross said. “It rose from a trade case that was underway, so it’s normal.”
“They are generally a good neighbor,” he added, “But that doesn’t mean they don’t have to play by the rules.”
Ross also dismissed the notion that this tax will increase housing prices by 15 or 20 percent as “silly.”