The Pavlovic Today has obtained the transcripts of the calls between General Flynn and Kislyak. Here’s what they say.

During the call on December 23, 2016, Flynn and Kislyak talked about the situation in the Middle East. “…you know that the strategic goal is stability in the Middle East. That’s the strategic goal,” Flynn said to the Russian Ambassador reiterating that Russa and the US have to work together against “this radical Islamist crowd”.

During the call on December 29, 2016, in addition to having a conversation about the situation in Syria and the Middle East, the Kremlin wanted to convey to the President-elect to organize a conversation via a secure video line between the White House and the Kremlin. According to the transcript of the call, Putin’s idea was to congratulate Trump and discuss issues. Flynn said he understood and  Kislyak repeated that he was talking about a secure video line.

KISLYAK: I mean heads up, we wanted you to know this. And the third final uh, point, General, is uh, I am entrusted to convey through you to Seer- uh to President-Elect, the proposal from the Kremlin. Maybe to organize a conversation over the secure video line that starting on the twentieth would be available to Mr. Trump. And it’s there, certainly, uh – uh, between the White House and the Kremlin. And our proposal is to have a conversation on the twenty. First between our Presidents. And the idea of Mr. Putin is, first of all, to congratulate uh, your President-Elect or the President, at the time, and maybe to discuss small number~ briefly, of issues that are on our agenda. So his proposal is on the twenty-first of January.

Flynn went on to discuss the course of action Russia will take in response to the Obama administration imposing sanctions on them. 

Flynn: So, depending on what actions they take over this current issue of cyber stuff, where they are looking like they are going to dismiss some number of Russians out of the country. I understand all that and I understand that the information that they have and all that. But I ask Russia to do is to not, if anything, I know you have to have some sort of action, to only make it reciprocal; don’t go any further than you have to because I don’t want us to get into something that have to escalate to tit-for-tat. Do you follow me?

Kislyak, according to the transcript pointed to the raging sentiments in Moscow regarding the sanctions.”I understand what you’re saying~ but you know, you might appreciate the sentiments that are raging now in Moscow,” the Russian ambassador said.

Flynn responded by saying that he really does not want for Russia and the U.S. “to get into the situation where we everybody goes back and forth and everybody had to be a tough guy here. We don’t need that right now. We need cool heads to prevail. And we need to be very steady about what we are going to do because we have absolutely a common threat in the Middle East.”

FLYNN: And please make sure that it’s uh – the idea is, be – if you~ if you have to do something, do something on a reciprocal basis, meaning you know, on a sort of an even basis. Then that, then that is a good message and we’ll understand that message. And, and then, we know that we’re not going to escalate this thing, where we~ where because if we put out- if we send out 30 guys and you send out 60, you know, or you shut down every Embassy, I mean we have to get this to a – let’s, let’s keep this at a level that uh is, is even-keeled, okay? ls even-keeled. And then what we can do is, when we come in, we can then have a better conversation about where, where we’re gonna go, uh~ regarding uh, regarding our relationship. And also, basically we have to take these, these enemies on that we have. And we definitely have a common enemy. You have a problem with it, we have a problem with it in this country, and we definitely have a problem with it in the Middle East.

Kislyak agreed and said that he will try to make people, assumably at the highest level in Moscow to understand. 

Flynn asked Kislyak to only reciprocate moderately because if Moscow sends out 60 people [Americans], “you will shut down the [US] embassy.”

The conversation concluded with Flynn reminding Kislyak of the “common enemy” in the Middle East and in sort of casual remarks said “remember Ambassador, you are not talking to a diplomat; you are talking to a soldier. I am a very practical guy. It is all about solutions.”

During the call on December 31, 2016, Kislyak talked about Russia’s response to the U.S. sanctions and Flynn’s call to act with “cold heads”.

KISLYAK: Uh, you know I have a small message to pass to you from Moscow, and uh, probably you have heard about the decision taken by Moscow about action and counter-action.

FLYNN: Yeah, yeah well I appreciate it, you know, on our phone call the other day, you know, I, I, appreciate the steps that uh your president has taken. I think that it is was wise.

KISLYAK: I, I just wanted to tell you that our conversation was also taken into account in Moscow and …


KISLYAK: Your proposal that we need to act with cold heads~ uh, is exactly what is uh, invested in the decision.


KISLYAK: And I just wanted to telI you that we found that these actions have targeted not only against Russia but also against the president-elect.

FLYNN: yeah, yeah

KISLYAK: and and with all our rights to the response we have decided not to act now because, its because people are dissatisfied with the loss of elections and, and it’s very deplorable. So, so I just wanted to let you know that our conversation was taken with weight. And also…

FLYNN: Good. Good.

KISLYAK: We are hoping within two weeks we will be able to start working in a more constructive way.

Flynn thanked  Kislyak on the feedback and said that he appreciated it. 

The final declassified conversation on January 19, 2016, is a voicemail message Kislyak left for Flynn asking if there is any updates about when the phone call between Trump and Putin will take place.

KISLYAK: Good morning, General. This [sic] Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador. I, uh, apologize that I disturb you but I wanted to check whether you have, um, uh, answer to the idea ofour two presidents speaking, uh, re-… uh, after the inauguration. You remember our conversation and we certainly would appreciate any indication as to when it is going to be possible. Uh, I would appreciate your calling back and telling me where we are. Thank you so much. All the best

Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...

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