President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn has resigned over his communication with Russian ambassador to the United States.
The CNN quoting two sources said Flynn resigned Monday night, making him the shortest holder of the post in history.
According to CNN, Flynn’s departure came just after reports surfaced the Justice Department warned the Trump administration last month that his NSA misled administration officials regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States and was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.
“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,” Flynn wrote according to a copy of his resignation letter obtained by CNN.
“I am tendering my resignation, honoured to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way,” he wrote.
“I know with the strong leadership of President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and the superb team they are assembling, this team will go down in history as one of the greatest presidencies in US history.”
The move comes less than a month into the job, making him one of the shortest-serving senior presidential advisers in modern history.
Gen. Keith Kellogg will be the interim national security adviser. He most recently served as National Security Council chief of staff.
The sudden exit marks the most public display yet of disarray at the highest levels of the new administration, which has faced repeated questions over a slew of controversies and reports of infighting among senior aides during its first three weeks.
The shakeup now leaves Trump without one of his closest and longest-serving advisers. Flynn had counselled Trump on foreign policy and national security matters since early in the 2016 presidential race.
Flynn was not able to definitively refute a Washington Post story late last week that his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak included communication about the sanctions. It is illegal for unauthorised private citizens to negotiate with foreign governments on behalf of the US.
The controversy intensified after the report put Vice President Mike Pence and several senior White House advisers in an uncomfortable position, as they had denied in TV interviews weeks earlier that Flynn discussed sanctions with the ambassador.
Michael Thomas “Mike” Flynn, born December 1958, is a retired United States Army lieutenant general who was the 18th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and was the 25th National Security Adviser.
Flynn as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency under Obama was forced out. His resignation less than a month into the Trump presidency marked the second consecutive administration under which Flynn had risen and fallen.
He came into the office with Trump from 20 January and left 13 February.
Flynn has drawn criticism for what are reported to be his close relations with Russia, and for promotion and popularisation of anti-Clinton conspiracy theories and fake news during the 2016 presidential campaign. The Wall Street Journal reported on January 22, 2017, that Flynn was under investigation by U.S. counterintelligence agents for his communications with Russian officials. He was then just two days old on the job.
*Flynn bio courtesy of Wikipedia.