District of Columbia: A top military counsel to President Donald Trump is under scrutiny by US counterintelligence agents who have probed the new national security adviser`s communications with Russian officials, the Wall Street Journal said Sunday.
The paper reported that Michael Flynn, a retired three-star general who was among senior White House staff sworn in Sunday, has come under investigation as part of a counterintelligence examination of communications between Russian government members and Trump`s inner circle.
Inquiry findings and whether it was still underway remained unclear, the WSJ said.
Flynn has raised eyebrows for receiving payment from the Russian broadcaster RT to join a gala celebration in Moscow last year, where he sat at a banquet table with President Vladimir Putin.
US reports have also said Flynn telephoned Moscow`s ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, several times the day before Obama unveiled punitive measures over Russia`s alleged cyberattacks to influence the US election.
Trump`s press secretary Sean Spicer has said Flynn had spoken with the envoy on Christmas Day, sending him a text to wish him a merry Christmas and happy New Year.
The national security adviser is not formally part of the cabinet but is usually one of the president`s most influential counsels.
Flynn, a veteran of America`s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has courted controversy with extreme statements that critics say border on Islamophobia, but has taken a more flexible line on Russia and China.