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Senate panel freezes ambassadorship nomination for former Flynn deputy KT McFarland

120517 McFarland frozen photo
FILE - In this March 29, 2017, file photo, then-Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland speaks at the Women's Empowerment Panel, at the White House in Washington. McFarland is an unnamed senior official referred to in the court papers filed in the Michael Flynn case. She was involved in a discussion with Flynn about what he would say to Russian government officials in response to U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia last year. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has halted its consideration of former White House aide K.T. McFarland for ambassador to Singapore due to new concerns about her contacts with Russian officials.

"Her nomination is frozen for awhile until that gets worked out. We'll deal with it in appropriate time," Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who chairs the committee, told reporters on Tuesday,

"She has to know that herself," he added.

McFarland was heavily involved in the presidential transition and later became deputy White House national security adviser under Michael Flynn, who pled guilty to perjury charges late last week. Flynn admitted to lying to federal investigators about his correspondence with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition.

In written testimony in July, McFarland told Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., she had never spoken to Flynn about his relationship with Kislyak.

"I am not aware of any of the issues or events described above," she had written.

However, McFarland reportedly indicated in an email exchange last December that she was aware of a phone call between Flynn and Kislyak that took place on Dec. 29, 2016. The emails were first reported by the New York Times earlier this week.

"If she did testify inappropriately, that's a big, big problem," Corker said.

McFarland was formally nominated for the ambassadorship in mid-June. It is unclear exactly when she left the National Security Council to prepare for confirmation hearings.