The State Department has "no problem" with President-elect Trump's team communicating with Russia or other foreign leaders during the presidential transition.
"We stand ready, if they want to work through the State Department to contact some of these individuals, but we have no comment or no problem with them doing such [things] on their own," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.
Michael Flynn, a retired general and Trump's incoming national security advisor, reportedly called Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on the day that President Obama announced sanctions retaliating against Russia for the cyberattacks and leaks of Democratic documents during the 2016 presidential election.
"What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about 'disputes' with the United States. Was its spirit violated?" wrote the Washington Post's David Ignatius, who first reported on the contact. "If the Trump team's contacts helped discourage the Russians from a counter-retaliation, maybe that's a good thing. But we ought to know the facts."
Toner noted that the reports have not been "confirmed or corroborated," but added that Flynn has the authority to make contact with foreign officials. "He's part of the transition team, that's really for them to speak to," he said.