United States President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned late Monday night after it was revealed that he had lied to the vice president and others about his interactions with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
A month ago, prior to beginning his role as National Security Adviser, Mr. Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. When Vice President-elect Mike Pence and others asked Mr. Flynn if he had discussed sanctions with the Russian diplomat, a potentially illegal action, Mr. Flynn insisted that he had not.
It was later revealed, however, that Mr. Flynn did in fact discuss sanctions with Mr. Kislyak.
The Washington Post earlier on Monday reported that the Justice Department had warned Mr. Trump that Mr. Flynn made misleading remarks about his communications with the Russian ambassador, which could make him vulnerable to blackmail. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the Justice Department made the warning “weeks ago.”
Facing pressure from the Trump administration, which said its trust in the national security adviser had “eroded,” Mr. Flynn tendered his resignation on Monday night.
His letter of resignation reads in part, “In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Adviser, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors. … 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.”
Mr. Trump has subsequently named Lt. Gen. Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. (Ret.) as Acting National Security Adviser.
Meanwhile, Democrats, the opposition party, have called for an investigation into the matter with a view towards exposing any other potential illegal contacts with foreign officials.