The New York Times is one of several outlets tonight reporting the resignation of Michael Flynn, retired Lieutenant General and Trump national security adviser.
Flynn’ resignation comes on the heel of revelations he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States regarding sanctions, all before becoming an official part of the administration with President Trump’s inauguration on January 20.
White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned amid deepening controversy over allegations of improper contact with Russian officials, upending the global strategic team of a president propelled to office largely on promises to protect the U.S. against foreign terrorism.
Hours after the White House said the president was “evaluating” allegations that Flynn lied about secret communications with Russia and misled Vice-president Mike Pence – but before his dramatic late-nigth resignation – sources familiar the situation told the Associated Press that the Trump administration was aware of the justice department’s warning that Flynn might be vulnerable to Russian blackmail “for weeks”.
It is illegal for private citizens to conduct US diplomacy, and the calls happened late last year, before Mr Flynn was appointed to the administration.
AP said the White House was warned over inconsistencies in his story “weeks ago”. The government and Mr Flynn have not responded to the latest allegations.
Mr Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, initially denied having discussed sanctions with the ambassador, and Vice-President Mike Pence publicly denied the allegations on his behalf.
However, Mr Flynn later told the White House they may have been discussed.
His departure doesn’t leave the President without a retired general officer as a trusted adviser. The White House said in the statement that it was replacing Mr. Flynn with retired Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr., a Vietnam War veteran, as acting national security adviser.