National Security Turmoil
By Debbie Gregory.
The Trump administration, just three weeks in, seems to be an exercise in chaos.
Michael T. Flynn has resigned his post as the national security adviser after it emerged that the Justice Department informed the White House that it believed Flynn could be subject to blackmail.
The resignation also came after previous disclosures that Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other senior officials about his communications with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Pence repeated the misinformation in television appearances.
“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,” Flynn said in his resignation letter.
Flynn does have supporters, however, with some Russian lawmakers coming to his defense.
Alexey Pushkov, a senator with the United Russia party, which supports President Vladimir Putin, said Flynn was “forced to go” because of “paranoia.” Pushkov also labeled the incident a “witch hunt.”
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee — which is investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged contacts with Russia — said Flynn’s resignation was “all but ordained the day he misled the country about his secret talks with the Russian ambassador.”
According to a White House official, Trump was informed more than two weeks ago that Flynn had not told the truth about his interactions with Russia’s ambassador.
Retired Army Gen. Keith Kellogg, a top policy adviser for Trump’s campaign, was appointed acting national security adviser while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement for Mr. Flynn. The top choice, according to administration officials, is retired Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward.
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