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.

 

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.


The Justice Department warned the Trump administration weeks ago that embattled Flynn's contacts with Russia could leave him in a compromised position, an administration official and two other people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press Monday night.

 

One person with knowledge of the situation said the Justice Department alerted the White House that there was a discrepancy between what officials were saying publicly about the contacts and the facts of what had occurred. Pence — apparently relying on information from Flynn — initially said sanctions were not discussed in the calls, though Flynn has now told White House officials that the topic may have come up.

 

A second official said the Justice Department was concerned Flynn could be in a compromised position as a result.

 

The White House has been aware of the Justice Department warnings for "weeks," an administration official said, though it was unclear whether Trump and Pence had been alerted.

 

The people insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The Washington Post was the first to report the communication between the Justice Department, including former acting attorney general Sally Yates, and the Trump administration.