National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned late Monday night, on the heels of widespread srutiny over his pre-White House communications with Russia’s ambassador to the United States and his admitted failures to report the full content of those conversations to then-vice president elect Mike Pence.
President Donald Trump named retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg as acting national security adviser. Kellogg had been serving as Flynn’s chief of staff on the National Security Council. Political chatter puts Gen. David Petraeus as the possible replacement, but Trump has yet to offer up a name.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s adviser, said on Fox and Friends: “In the end, he felt he had misled or misrepresented all the facts to the vice president and for that, he was sorry.”
She also said that was the “lynch pin” of his resignation.
“General Flynn has a three decades-plus of service … that should not be overlooked,” Conway also said.
Flynn expressed remorse for his political missteps in a letter of resignation.
“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.”
The main criticism-slash-concern about Flynn’s failure to fully brief the White House about his conversations with Russia was that the oversight might make him vulnerable to blackmail.