Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hardly knows fired U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn even if they sat beside each other at an event in Russia. The occasion was the 10th anniversary of Russia Today, a state-run news outlet, held in Moscow in December 2015.

Flynn addressed at the gala and was paid $45,000 for the speech. He and Putin were seated beside each other at a table with other Russian VIPs, New York Daily News reported. Putin told Megyn Kelly of NBC News in an interview to air on Sunday that when he arrived at the RT event, he was seated beside Flynn.

Extent of acquaintance with Flynn

Putin also gave a speech, then he and Flynn talked about some other things. He then got up and left which the Russian president insisted is the extent of his acquaintance with Flynn. Putin said he and Kelly have a much closer relationship than he with Flynn who is under investigation by the Senate because of his ties with Russian officials.

U.S. President Donald Trump fired Flynn in February because the latter did not disclose the content of his discussions with Russian Ambassador to Washington Sergei Kislyak. He also misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations with Kislyak.

Flynn invokes 5th Amendment

The Senate subpoenaed Flynn, but he said he will not testify but will provide documents of his businesses to the Senate committee.

Also scheduled to testify on June 8 with the Senate is former FBI Director James Comey whom Trump has fired for allegedly not following his order to stop the agency from further investigating Flynn.

Comey said the president pressured him to drop the investigation of Flynn. Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wants to know what kind of pressure did Trump placed on Comey, Reuters reported.

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Comey said he has evidence of his conversations with the president.

While Trump could claim executive privilege to prevent Comey from testifying, Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to the White House, said she is not sure if the president will use the privilege. However, she hinted Trump might allow the former FBI director to testify.

Linda Peek Schacht, a political adviser at the White House during the term of President Jimmy Carter, said the potential of an explosive testimony from Comey could affect a sitting president. She compares it to the 1970s’ Watergate scandal of then-President Richard Nixon.