Michael Flynn resigns: Lied to Trump, administration over conversation with Russia on sanctions
White House national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned Monday night, ending his brief tenure. The Department of Justice warned President Trump’s administration that Flynn misled the administration regarding communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States over sanctions.
Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other senior officials about his communications with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Pence repeated the misinformation in television appearances.
“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. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology,” Flynn said in his resignation letter.
“I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way,” he wrote. “I know with the strong leadership of President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and the superb team they are assembling, this team will go down in history as one of the greatest presidencies in US history.”
Flynn’s discussions had raised a possible breach of the Logan Act, a 1799 law that bars unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.
On the TODAY show Tuesday morning, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said that the president was “very loyal” to Flynn and that the general “decided it was best to resign” because he had “become a lightning rod.”
When asked by Matt Lauer would Trump have supported Flynn’s decision to not resign despite accusations of him lying to the vice president, Conway responded, “That fact is what became unsustainable, I think misleading the vice president was the key.”
Republican Rep. Bill Flores of Texas said he was “glad” Flynn had gone, adding: “We need more sanctions on Russia, not fewer!”
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Flynn’s resignation was “all but ordained the day he misled the country about his secret talks with the Russian ambassador.”