Michael Flynn, Trump’s Security Adviser, Resigns

 

Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has resigned over his contacts with Russia, the White House has announced.

Mr Flynn is alleged to have discussed US sanctions with the Russian ambassador before Mr Trump took office.

He is said to have misled officials about the conversation.

Earlier, US media reported that the Justice Department had warned the White House about the contacts late last month.

They said that Mr Flynn might be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. They also said that it was illegal for private citizens to conduct US Diplomacy. The calls were said to have happened late last year before Mr Flynn was appointed to the administration.

A number of senior Democrats had called for Mr Flynn to be fired. The national security adviser is appointed by the president to serve as his or her chief adviser on international affairs and defence and Mr Flynn cannot be trusted with that privileged assignment, they inferred.

Mr Flynn said he had “inadvertently briefed the vice-president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador”.

Mr Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, initially denied having discussed sanctions with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, and Vice-President Mike Pence publicly denied the allegations on his behalf, according to white house source. But he came under further pressure on Monday when details of his phone call emerged in US media, as well as reports that the justice department had warned the White House about him misleading senior officials and being vulnerable to Russian blackmail.

Russian MP Konstantin Kosachev, quoted by the Ria Novosti news agency, suggested the new US president may have been backed into a corner over Mr Flynn’s resignation or his administration may have been “infected” by anti-Russian sentiment.ER

From the day he was announced as Mr Trump’s national security adviser, there were concerns about Michael Flynn’s questionable contacts with Russia both before and after November’s election.

The ground crumbled beneath his feet only recently, however, after revelations that his conversation with a Russian ambassador included talk of US-imposed sanctions. The final whip came late on Monday, with reports that Obama-era government officials had, in January, warned the Trump White House about the details of these calls.

Several House Democrats have called on Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz to launch an investigation into Mr Flynn’s ties to Russia.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine said it would also be “troubling” if Flynn had been negotiating with a foreign government before taking office.

According to white house source, Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg will, in the interim, fill in.

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