Michael Flynn resigned Monday as President Trump’s national security adviser after less than a month in the position.
The move comes after Flynn admitted he gave “incomplete information” about a call he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. last December regarding sanctions against Russia, The New York Times reported, and that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other top White House officials about the conversation.
Based on information from Flynn, Pence had initially stated publicly that sanctions hadn’t come up during the call.
“In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors … 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 his resignation letter Monday. “I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.”
Flynn had only been in his new role with for less than a month, but already the Justice Department feared that he might be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.
The White House has been aware of the Justice Department warnings for “weeks,” an administration official told the Associated Press. However, it is not known if Trump and Pence were aware.
Flynn’s resignation conflicts with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s assertion earlier Monday that Trump had “full confidence” in him.
Trump has now named retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg as the acting national security adviser.
See Flynn’s full letter of resignation below, as provided by the White House to Fox News.
In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors. 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.
Throughout my over thirty three years of honorable military service, and my tenure as the National Security Advisor, I have always performed my duties with the utmost of integrity and honesty to those I have served, to include the President of the United States.
I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way.
I am also extremely honored to have served President Trump, who in just three weeks, has reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America’s leadership position in the world.
As I step away once again from serving my nation in this current capacity, I wish to thank President Trump for his personal loyalty, the friendship of those who I worked with throughout the hard fought campaign, the challenging period of transition, and during the early days of his presidency.
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 U.S. history, and I firmly believe the American people will be well served as they all work together to help Make America Great Again.
Michael T. Flynn, LTG (Ret)
Assistant to the President / National Security Advisor