WASHINGTON (CBS) — President Trump announced Wednesday he pardoned Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, granting a long-rumored reprieve to the retired Army lieutenant general as he prepares to leave office.

“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

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The president has repeatedly defended Flynn as an “innocent man” who was unfairly targeted by rogue FBI officials during their investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which the president has long derided as a “hoax” that was designed to undermine his presidency.

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