Donald Trump faced his first administration loss after General Michael Flynn quit as his national security adviser, late Monday night. His resignation comes after the Department of Justice shared with the White House their belief that he could be subject to blackmail but questions also arose about whether he told Vice President Pence and President Donald Trump the truth.
“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 wrote in a public statement. “I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.”
President Trump immediately appointed Lt. General Joseph Kellogg Jr. as acting national security adviser. Kellogg is former commander of the 82nd Airborne Division and was the operating officer of the Western coalition in Baghdad, Iraq following the U.S. led invasion in 2003. White House Press Secretary told the media that President Trump was reviewing the situation with Flynn.
“The president is evaluating the situation,” according to the statement. “He’s speaking to the vice president relative to the conversation the vice president had with Gen. Flynn, and also speaking to various other people about what he considers the single most important subject there is: our national security.”
The Washington Post first broke the story surrounding Flynn. Flynn denied that he discussed sanctions with Russian official Kislyak but retracted his testimony and later told the Washington Post he couldn’t be certain the topic never came up.
Flynn’s contact with Kislyak raised the possibility that he breached the Logan Act, a 1799 law that bars unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. Trump is now considering Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward, former CIA Director David Petraeus to become the official national security adviser.
The main concern the White House had was whether he told Vice President Pence the truth. The controversy heated up after Pence and several others appeared on TV denying that Flynn discussed sanctions with the ambassador.