WASHINGTON, February 14, 2017 – Lt. General Michael Flynn, aged 57, has resigned as national security adviser to the Trump administration, shaking up the new administration that has been plagued by protests and liberal opposition.
In a statement issued this evening, Lt. General Flynn said he would leave the post due to the reporting of Lt. General Flynn’s ties to Russia and that he allegedly lied to Vice President Mike Pence about a conversation he had with Russian officials about U.S. sanctions during the transition.
CNN is reporting that Gen. David Petraeus will be speaking to the Trump administration as early as Tuesday, February 14 about the position. In the interim, Retired Gen. Keith Kellogg, a national-security official with the Trump transition team, is acting national security adviser.
General Kellogg, 72, chief operation office of the Western coalition, Baghdad, Iraq and also served as commander of the 82nd Airborne Division. General Kellogg, retired Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward, former deputy commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, and former CIA Director David Petraeus are all being considered to replace Flynn.
CNN reporter Gloria Borger broke the story saying that “an administration source” relayed to her that the Justice Department had warned the White House that Flynn may be compromised.
Earlier today the White House said that President Trump was still “evaluating” over whether Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about whether he discussed sanctions with Russia’s envoy to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak on December 29, 2016 when then-president Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia.
Lt. General Flynn denied conversations about impending sanctions took place, however, reports indicate the National Security Advisor did indeed discuss them with the Russian official.
Serving under President Obama Flynn, a Democrat, was often at odds with the previous administration during what can only be termed a rocky tenure. After he was forced out he became one of the earliest backers of Donald Trump; he was considered by Trump as an early potential running mate.
Over the course of his 33-year military career, Flynn served as the director of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the U.S. Central Command, which oversees operations in the Middle East; the NATO mission in Afghanistan; and the Joint Special Operations Command before serving on the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014.
Last summer (July 2016) Flynn had angered U.S. officials over “friendly ties to Russia” and that he was a vocal advocate for better relations and military cooperation in the Middle East.
Flynn has been an advisor to first the candidate, then President-elect Trump on the Islamic State, Iran and the military.