Donald Trump's national security advisor Michael Flynn quits

Pablo Tucker
February 14, 2017

The Washington Post reported last week that Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak discussed US sanctions against Russia in conversations before Trump took office.

Yates informed the Trump White House Flynn had misrepresented his conversations with the ambassador, US official said Monday.

Trump is facing new pressure to reconsider Flynn's appointment in the wake of the Post report, attributed to nine unnamed current or former US officials, that Flynn had discussed sanctions imposed by former President Barack Obama's administration with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, after Trump was elected but before the inauguration.

A White House spokesman said: "President Donald Trump has named Lt General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr (Ret) as acting national security advisor following the resignation of Lt General Michael Flynn (Ret)".

Flynn's departure less than one month into the Trump administration marks an extraordinarily early shakeup in the president's senior team of advisers.

The vice president had defended Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation, and when it became clear the national security adviser had not been forthcoming, serious questions were raised about his ability to keep his job.

In a resignation letter, Flynn said he held numerous calls with the Russian ambassador to the USA during the transition and gave "incomplete information" about those discussions to Vice President Mike Pence.

Now Flynn will be attending Trump's meetings with Netanyahu in the Oval Office, in which two matters - the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and Iran's nuclear program - will top the agenda.

Flynn's resignation took place just over three weeks into Trump's presidency and days before his first official talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, discussions in which the president's national security advisor would normally have a key role.

"[Trump] loses one way or another", Krauthammer said, adding, "I'm not sure the president himself has decided [what to do]".

Trump had also declined to publicly back Flynn during a brief exchange with reporters at the White House. But it turned out that sanctions may have come up in the conversation, Flynn conceded. "The reports of the Trump-Russia dossier gain credence with each passing day", she continued.

Flynn, a retired general, still hasn't explicitly admitted he lied to Pence. Whilst other White House sources claimed that "the knives are out" for the retired general. Expecting swift retaliation, they were confused when Russian president Vladimir Putin chose not to respond.

Earlier reports also said Trump was doing an assessment of the situation around the conversation between Flynn and Kislyak.

It appears that, at the very least, the president is taking his time.

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