Michael Flynn resigns as National Security Advisor

February 15, 2017

On Feb. 13, Michael Flynn resigned as National Security Advisor following revelations of telephone calls with Sergey I. Kislyak. Flynn, Russian Ambassador to the United States. Flynn served in his position for less than a month and resigned so abruptly that some coworkers of the Security Council staff found out only through the news.

Flynn reportedly spoke with Kislyak about sanctions in late December before Donald Trump’s inauguration. He later misled Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, denying he spoke about sanctions or anything of substance. The Justice Department under former Attorney General Sally Yates informed the White House that Flynn would be vulnerable to blackmail due to the fact that he did indeed speak about sanctions with the Russian Ambassador and according to the New York Times, numerous other foreign officials.

In his letter of resignation, Flynn stated that he omitted information about his phone calls with Kislyak, blaming the incident on the rapidity of the events. The FBI analyzed Flynn’s phone calls while he was under investigation about his interactions with Russian officials. Simultaneously,the Army investigated if he got money from the Russian government during a trip he took to Moscow in 2015, thus violating the Emoluments Clause which prohibits former military officers from receiving money from foreign governments without Congress’s consent.  

President Trump replaced Flynn with Lieutenant General Joseph K. Kellogg Jr, a Vietnam War veteran of the United States Army. Trump added Kellogg to his foreign policy team in March 2016 with wife Paige Cook, who is also a past American Army Officer.

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