As many had expected, multiple sources have now confirmed that former General Mike Flynn has resigned from his role as President Trump’s national security advisor. The White House has confirmed that Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. has been appointed Acting National Security Advisor.
President Donald J. Trump Names Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. as Acting National Security Advisor, Accepts Resignation of Lt. General Michael Flynn
President Donald J. Trump has named Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. (Ret) as Acting National Security Advisor following the resignation of Lt. General Michael Flynn (Ret).
General Kellogg is a decorated veteran of the United States Army, having served from 1967 to 2003, including two tours during the Vietnam War, where he earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with “V” device, and the Air Medal with “V” device. He served as the Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division from 1997 to 1998. Prior to his retirement, General Kellogg was Director of the Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Directorate under the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The full text of General Flynn’s resignation letter is below:
February 13, 2017
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
* * *
As we detailed previously, after last night’s news that Trump (and Steve Bannon) were actively deciding whether to fire National Security Advisor Mike Flynn over the recent scandal involving his [hone calls with Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, discussing the Russian sanction something he denied publicly on several occasions, yet which now appears to have been the case, the ice below Flynn had got thinner this afternoon when the Trump administration for the second consecutive day sent conflicting signals in its support for Flynn amid uncertainty whether Flynn misled Mike Pence about his conversation with Russia’s U.S. ambassador. About an hour after White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said in a television interview that Flynn “does enjoy the full confidence of the president,” press secretary Sean Spicer released a statement saying President Donald Trump is “evaluating” the situation involving his top security aide. Trump “is speaking to Vice President Pence relative to the conversation the vice president had with General Flynn and also speaking to various other people about what he considers the single most important subject there is, our national security,” Spicer said in an e-mailed statement. One day earlier, Trump adviser Stephen Miller declined to defend Flynn or say whether his job was safe. Miller, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said Flynn had served the country admirably, but that “It’s not for me to tell you what’s in the president’s mind.”
Now, following the latest report in the WaPo, the young Trump administration may have no choice but to make Flynn the first casualty. According to the Bezos-owned publication, the acting attorney general informed the Trump White House late last month that she believed Michael Flynn had misled senior administration officials about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States, “and warned that the national security adviser was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail.” The message was delivered by Sally Yates and was prompted by concerns that Flynn, when asked about his calls and texts with the Russian diplomat, had told Vice President-elect Mike Pence and others that he had not discussed the Obama administration sanctions on Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. It is unclear what the White House counsel, Donald McGahn, did with the information.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan also reportedly shared Yates’ concerns about Flynn. The pair believed “Flynn had put himself in a compromising position”, thinking that Pence had a right to know that he had been misled, and agreed with Yates’ decision to warn the White House. One official told the Post all three officials believed Pence had a right to know Flynn had possibly misled him about his talks with Kislyak. Furthermore, current and former officials told the Post they believed Flynn deceived the vice president, adding they could not rule out the possibility he acted with the knowledge of other transition officials. Yates, who was then the deputy attorney general, considered Flynn’s comments during an intercepted phone call with Kislyak last December “highly significant” and “potentially illegal.” The WaPo adds that an official familiar with Yates’ thinking told the Post she suspected Flynn may have violated the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from interfering in diplomatic disputes with another nation. Trump fired Yates last month, after she refused to have the DOJ defend his temporary ban on visitors from seven Muslim-majority nations in court. Making matters worse – for Trump – is that a senior Trump administration official said that the White House was aware of the matter, adding that “we’ve been working on this for weeks.”
The final nail in Flynn’s coffin is that according to a report in the NYT, the Army has been investigating whether Mr. Flynn received money from the Russian government during a trip he took to Moscow in 2015, according to two defense officials. Such a payment might violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits former military officers from receiving money from a foreign government without consent from Congress. The defense officials said there was no record that Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, filed the required paperwork for the trip.
If confirmed, and if Flynn indeed lied, Trump will have no choice but to let him go.
* * *
And indeed it appears it is confirmed, following his apology to Vice President Pence and other White House officials, CNN, Bloomberg, and NBC News confirm sources that Mike Flynn has officialy resigned…
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) February 14, 2017
BREAKING: Mike Flynn has RESIGNED his post as national security adviser, White House sources tell me.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 14, 2017
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 14, 2017
And as AP reports, national security adviser Michael Flynn has resigned after reports he misled Trump administration officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.
Flynn’s departure less than one month into the Trump administration marks an extraordinarily early shakeup in the president’s senior team of advisers. Flynn was a loyal Trump supporter throughout the campaign, but his ties to Russia caused concern among other senior aides.
Flynn initially told Trump advisers that he did not discuss sanctions with the Russian envoy during the transition. Vice President Mike Pence, apparently relying on information from Flynn, publicly vouched for the national security adviser.
Flynn later told White House officials that he may have discussed sanctions with the ambassador.
Making him the first of Trump’s appointees to be let go, just as the odds predicted…