Washington, United States national security advisor, Michael Flynn resigned today after being questioned about the nature of his conversations with the Russian ambassador in the US prior to Trump's inauguration.
President Trump accepted Flynn's resignation letter and appointed Keith Kellogg, a retired Army lieutenant general, as acting national security adviser.
In his resignation letter to Trump, Flynn defended his conversations with the Russian ambassador, saying he intended to "facilitate a smooth transition" and was trying "to build the necessary relationships" for the new administration, the Washington Post reported. Flynn, who served in the job for less than a month, admitted he had given "incomplete information" regarding a telephone call he had with the Russian ambassador in late December about American sanctions against Russia, weeks before Trump's inauguration.
"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," Flynn said in his resignation letter. "I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology." Flynn previously had denied that he had any substantive conversations with Ambassador.
On Monday however, reports emerged that the Justice Department warned the White House that Flynn had not been fully forthright about his conversations with the ambassador. As a result, the Justice Department feared that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.
In the waning days of the Obama administration, the director of national intelligence, and the CIA director at the time, expressed their concerns and concurred with her recommendation to inform the Trump White House.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Flynn categorically denied discussing sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, repeating public assertions made in January by top Trump officials. One day after the interview, Flynn revised his account, telling The Post through a spokesman that he "couldn't be certain that the topic never came up." Nonetheless, US intelligence reports during the 2016 presidential campaign showed that the Russian ambassador was in touch with Flynn, officials said.
The Russian ambassador, Kislyak in a brief interview with The Post, confirmed having contacts with Flynn before and after the election, but he declined to say what was discussed.
Under the Logan Act, it is illegal for any US citizen to conduct diplomacy representing the US. During the time of the phone call with the Russian ambassador, Flynn held no official title with the US administration.
Source: Qatar News Agency