With Monday night’s news that Michael T. Flynn has retired as the national security advisor, all eyes are on the White House’s handling of the situation.
According to this morning’s press conference with Sean Spicer, Spicer says, “The issue pure and simple came down to a matter of trust and the president concluded that he no longer had the trust of his national security adviser.”
Fox News added that,”White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Fox and Friends that the situation with Flynn had become “increasingly unsustainable.”
President Trump demanded a resignation, and got what he asked for. Flynn has since apologized to the President and Vice President.
The New York Times says:
In his resignation letter, which the White House emailed to reporters, Mr. Flynn said he had held numerous calls with foreign officials during the transition. ‘Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador,’ he wrote. ‘I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology.’
‘I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way,’ Mr. Flynn wrote.
Officials said Mr. Pence had told others in the White House that he believed Mr. Flynn lied to him by saying he had not discussed the topic of sanctions on a call with the Russian ambassador in late December. Even the mere discussion of policy — and the apparent attempt to assuage the concerns of an American adversary before Mr. Trump took office — represented a remarkable breach of protocol.
The F.B.I. had been examining Mr. Flynn’s phone calls as he came under growing questions about his interactions with Russian officials and his management of the National Security Council. The blackmail risk envisioned by the Justice Department would have stemmed directly from Mr. Flynn’s attempt to cover his tracks with his bosses. The Russians knew what had been said on the call; thus, if they wanted Mr. Flynn to do something, they could have threatened to expose the lie if he refused.
In addition, the Army has been investigating whether Mr. Flynn received money from the Russian government during a trip he took to Moscow in 2015, according to two defense officials. Such a payment might violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits former military officers from receiving money from a foreign government without consent from Congress. The defense officials said there was no record that Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, filed the required paperwork for the trip.
Flynn has since been replaced by Kieth Kelogg until a permanent choice can be made.