Michael Flynn quits as national security adviser

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks on Feb. 1 at the White House. Flynn reportedly engaged in conversations with a Russian diplomat about U.S. sanctions before President Donald Trump’s inauguration

But he ultimately asked for Mr Flynn's resignation based on a "trust issue" and not a legal one, Mr Spicer added. According to Spicer, the period between then and yesterday evening was spent "trying to ascertain the truth" about what Flynn had done and the ultimate result was that "the level of trust between the president and Gen. Flynn had eroded to the point that [Trump] felt he had to make a change". She highlighted troubling reports that Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed sensitive national security matters this past weekend as patrons at the president's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida looked on.

Flynn is said to have given " incomplete information" ro the white house officials about his discussions with the Russian ambassador over USA sanctions against Moscow.

So now we know, by the White House's own account, that Trump has known since late January that his national security adviser lied to him, lied to the vice president and lied to pretty much everyone about his contacts with Russian Federation. Of course, any of those explanations would demand further elaboration and justification, and none would support the idea that Trump acted decisively after receiving those warnings.

In recent days, Flynn has acknowledged he might have discussed sanctions with the Russians but could not remember with 100 percent certainty, which officials said had upset Pence, who felt he had been misled.

Mr Trump, who was informed the same day, had concluded that his actions did not violate any law, according to Mr Spicer.

Pence's decision to try to stay out of the cliques that have plagued the White House has allowed him, so far, to maintain his standing as a neutral player committed to forwarding Trump's agenda on Capitol Hill.

The key moment in all this is The Washington Post report on February 9, indicating that Flynn had, in fact, misled the White House. In his tweet, Trump asked, "The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?"

It is true that restraint may be the optimal strategy to deal with a nuclear-armed belligerent, but in this case it may actually reflect the lack of options for Mr. Trump to bring Pyongyang to heel given the lukewarm state of his relationship with China, North Korea's only ally. The official said Pence was relying on information from Flynn when he went on television and denied that sanctions were discussed with Kislyak. His covert contacts with Russian officials before he took his post require a thorough investigation.

Meanwhile, US House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes told reporters on Tuesday he wants to investigate the leaks that led to Mr Flynn's resignation.

Peskov's comments placing Flynn's resignation within the realm of internal American affairs came after various Russian lawmakers insinuated that Flynn was forcibly ousted in order to damage US-Russian relations.

Flynn's contacts with Kislyak coincided with the Obama administration slapping penalties on Russian Federation for election-related hacking. "It's nothing to do with us".

The US Justice Department had warned the Trump administration last month that Mr Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail by Russian Federation.

Congressional Democrats John Conyers and Elijah Cummings have demanded a classified briefing to Congress on Michael Flynn by the justice department and Federal Bureau of Investigation. There are people on both sides, both Republicans and Democrats, that do not trust Russian Federation, that believe that Putin is the enemy - General Flynn saw all that in a different light and that made him somewhat of a political target.

The chronology Spicer offered today began with the claim that acting Attorney General Yates had given the White House counsel a heads up about what the Federal Bureau of Investigation had learned, as the Post reported last night.

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