Hooh boy. President Trump‘s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has resigned amid controversy around his communication with Russia.
His continued employment had come under scrutiny since last Friday, when reports emerged that the Department of Justice had warned the White House last month that Flynn could be open to blackmail, after he misled administration officials about his communications with the Russian ambassador before Trump was sworn in.
Flynn initially denied discussing sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, and Vice-President Pence publicly denied the allegations on his behalf.
In his resignation letter, obtained by CNN, he now blames his mistake on “the fast pace of events.”
“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 apologised to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.”
Literally hours earlier, key Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway appeared on MSNBC to assure the American public that Flynn had the “full confidence” of Trump.
Wow— here’s the video of Conway saying Flynn has ‘full confidence’ of Trump. pic.twitter.com/gU4NsXgmKR
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 13, 2017
His resignation came about 11pm Monday night, state-side.
The key communication in question refers to a phone call made after the Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats following allegations of Russian meddling in the US election.
The following day, Vladimir Putin announced he would not be retaliating, leading then-elect President Trump to tweet this:
Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2016
Democrats are now calling for answers. with Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House permanent select committee on intelligence, telling The Guardian that “Flynn’s departure does not end questions over his contacts with the Russians, which have been alleged to have begun well before December 29. These alleged contacts and any others the Trump campaign may have had with the Kremlin are the subject of the House intelligence committee’s ongoing investigation.”
Flynn lasted less than a month in his role, which is the shortest holder of the office in history.
Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellog has been announced as the acting national security advisor.
Photo: Getty / Tim Williams.