After winning the election, Donald Trump named retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as the White House national security adviser, sparking controversy throughout the Justice Department as his connection with the Russian ambassador could compromise his position.
Things went from bad to worse after the Justice Department warned the Trump administration last month that Flynn provided VP Mike Pence with “incomplete information” regarding a phone call he had with the Russian diplomat in December. At the time, he reportedly discussed the U.S. sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama, in the wake of Russia’s interference with the presidential election. Although Flynn maintained he had not spoken to the ambassador about the sanctions, an investigation proved otherwise and the DOJ grew concerned, as his new position could potentially be vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.
On Monday evening, in the midst of the continued controversy surrounding Flynn’s communications with Russia, the former Lt. Gen. resigned from his position as Trump’s National Security Adviser.
“In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors,” Flynn wrote in his resignation letter. “These calls were to facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships between the President, his advisors and foreign leaders. Such calls are standard practice in any transition of this magnitude.
“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 apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology,” the statement continued.
The letter was emailed to reporters, via the White House. Gen. Keith Kellogg will step in as the interim national security adviser, CNN reports.
Read Flynn’s full resignation letter below: