Michael Flynn unexpectedly handed in his resignation as the national security adviser under Donald Trump’s administration. This came some few hours after revelation that the Justice Department expressed concerns to the White House on the possibility of being subject to blackmail.
Retired Army Gen. Keith Kellogg, was immediately appointed in an acting capacity as the national security adviser, read a White House statement that announced Flynn’s replacement, reports CNBC.
Flynn’s resignation comes after days of speculation on his position within the administration and intensified scrutiny of his Russia discussion before Mr. Trump’s ascend to power. Monday reports had proved that Flynn faced the possibility of being blackmailed by Russia.
Through his resignation letter, the former national security adviser wrote that he made a number of calls with ministers, foreign counterparts and ambassadors with the aim of facilitating a smooth transition. “Such calls are standard practice in any transition of this magnitude” and help the President to build the necessary relationships.
He regretted having failed to fully brief the Vice President Elect and other leaders regarding the call he made with Russian Ambassador, adding that it was due to “the fast pace of events.”
While briefing Vice President Mike Pence, Flynn stated that he made no discussion with the Russian officials regarding the U.S. sanctions against the country. This prompted Pence to defend his in subsequent TV interviews.
But recent days have seen Flynn acknowledge the likelihood of him having discussed sanctions with the Russians although he couldn’t recall that with 100 percent certainty. This is said to have upset Pence who felt misguided. According to government officials, Flynn has issued an apology to Pence twice.
Flynn noted in his resignation letter that he had issued an apology to both the President and the Vice President.
The embattled leader wrote in his resignation letter that throughout his more than 30 years of military service and tenure as the National Security Advisor, he has always conducted his duties with utmost honesty and integrity.
His temporal replacement is a former commander of the fabled 82nd Airborne Division. During the U.S. led 2003 invasion in Baghdad, Iraq, he served as chief operating officer of the Western coalition. There are already reports that the President is considering Kellogg for the permanent job. Other preferred candidates are etired Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward, former deputy commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, and former CIA Director David Petraeus.
The favorite for the job so far is Harward, as reported by NBC News.
According to Rep. Adam Schiff of California, Flynn’s resignation was ordained the very same day he misled the country regarding Trump’s administration contacts with Russia. Mr. Schiff is a ranking on the House Intelligence Committee that is currently investigating the alleged contacts.
“In fact, Flynn was always a poor choice for National Security Advisor, a role in which you need to be a consensus builder,” said Schiff via a statement. He added that the job requires someone who takes time to keenly go through the truth and facts.