News

14 February 2017

Trump national security aide Flynn resigns over Russian contacts

By Steve Holland and John Walcott | WASHINGTON
President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned late on Monday after revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office and misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.

Flynn's resignation came hours after it was reported that the Justice Department had warned the White House weeks ago that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail for contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump took power on Jan. 20.

Flynn's departure was a sobering development in Trump's young presidency, a 24-day period during which his White House has been repeatedly distracted by miscues and internal dramas.

The departure could slow Trump's bid to warm up relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Flynn submitted his resignation hours after Trump, through a spokesman, pointedly declined to publicly back Flynn, saying he was reviewing the situation and talking to Pence.

Flynn had promised Pence he had not discussed U.S. sanctions with the Russians, but transcripts of intercepted communications, described by U.S. officials, showed that the subject had come up in conversations between him and the Russian ambassador.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-flynn-idUSKBN15S0BR