Michael Flynn, who was sworn in as Trump’s National Security Adviser just days ago, has resigned. The move comes after reports that, prior to Trump’s inauguration, Flynn had backchannel discussions with the Russians about U.S. sanctions.
Former President Obama had imposed additional sanctions on Russia in retaliation for Russian interference with the presidential election.
Initially, Flynn publicly denied discussing sanctions with Russian officials. According to reports, he misled Vice President Pence and other administration officials about the substance of his conversations.
In his resignation letter Flynn said he “inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador.”
Breaking: text of Flynn's resignation letter pic.twitter.com/KGue1cJFzL
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) February 14, 2017
Left unanswered was what President Trump knew about Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador. Shortly after Flynn’s phone call, Trump praised the Russians for not retaliating in response to the sanctions imposed by Obama.
Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2016
The Washington Post reported on Monday evening that the Justice Department was concerned Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
A dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer alleges that Russia has compromising information on Trump. That dossier has been partially confirmed by U.S. intelligence — although the most salacious allegations remain unsubstantiated.
Republicans in Congress have rejected calls for an independent investigation about Russia’s interference with the presidential election.
This is a breaking news post and will be updated.