That was the media narrative.
No big deal. It's part of his job. It's customary and each administration does it.
[Remember, there is no Sec of State confirmed yet etc.] Flynn has the job of contacting all nations, not just Russia - but Russia was the one every media was focused on 24/7.
Of course - The Vast Russian Hacking Election conspiracy: "did any advisor or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?"
"Of course not. And I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy."
The Pence statement was Sunday January 15th, 2017
Inauguration Day was Friday January 20th, 2017
Flynn was questioned by FBI Tuesday January 24th,
During that interview Flynn had two options:
Option #1) tell investigators he did have conversations with Kislyak in December - and as a consequence contradict VP Pence.
According to her testimony: “Certainly leading up to our notification on the 26th, it was a topic of a whole lot of discussion in DOJ and w/ other members of intel community.”