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Michael Flynn Quits Over Claims He Misled Trump Officials Over Russia Talks


Feb 14, 2017


Michael Flynn has stepped down over his contact with Moscow's US ambassador. A key Trump adviser quits over allegations he lied about potentially illegal contact with Russian officials.

National security adviser Michael Flynn has resigned after claims he misled the Trump administration over his talks with Russia.

In his resignation letter, he admitted he had "inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador".

It comes amid claims he had discussed sanctions with Moscow's US envoy before Mr Trump had taken office - and before he had officially taken up his own role.

Any attempt to conduct diplomacy on behalf of the United States while a private citizen could be illegal.

Mr. Flynn initially told Vice President Mike Pence he had not discussed sanctions during the meeting with the ambassador, prompting Mr. Pence to defend him in a TV interview.

In recent days however, he admitted he might have raised the subject of sanctions with the Russians but said he could not be 100% certain.

President Obama imposed sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea and claims it tried to influence the presidential election.

Mr. Flynn's resignation came hours after the White House said it was "evaluating" the situation, and following Mr. Trump's close aid, Kellyanne Conway, telling reporters that the security adviser's job was safe.

Mr. Flynn said in his letter that he had "sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology".

Retired lieutenant general Joseph Kellogg has been named acting national security adviser.

The former CIA director and retired general, David Petraeus, is under consideration for the permanent position, according to a White House official.

A US official has also confirmed a Washington Post report that the nation's acting attorney general had warned the White House last month that Mr. Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail over his early contact with the ambassador.



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