Donald Trump’s first major crisis over less than a month in office led to the resignation of his former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Monday for lying to senior White House officials about his contacts with Russia.
Always surrounded by controversy, Flynn, a decorated general who advised Trump on foreign policy during his presidential career and who became one of his most faithful companions, lasted only 24 days in his brand new position.
He was condemned by the Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, during the transition period between the governments of Barack Obama and Trump and even before the November 8 White House elections.
THE FLYNN ISSUE ‘IS NOT OUR BUSINESS’, AFFIRMS THE KREMLIN
Phone calls that were intercepted by US intelligence still in the hands of Obama and in which Flynn and Kislyak spoke about the Kremlin sanctions that the former president imposed before leaving the White House in retaliation for the alleged Russian interference.
While rumors of the content of the calls ran through Washington offices, Flynn assured Vice President Mike Pence as well as other senior government officials that Kislyak had not talked about sanctions against Russia.
“They did not talk about anything that has to do with the US decision to expel diplomats or impose measures against Russia,” Pence defended in a January 15 interview with CBS News, relying on the then-advisor’s word, a stance similar to that recently held by White House spokesman Sean Spicer.
But the reality is that Flynn did address the sanctions with Kislyak and the evidence against him forced him today forced him to admit that he did not tell Pence: “Unfortunately, because of the pace of events, I involuntarily reported incomplete information to the Vice president and others about my calls to the Russian ambassador. ”
Flynn, however, argued that such conversations “are a standardized practice in any transition of such magnitude” and were intended “to facilitate a smooth transition and to begin to build a necessary relationship between the president, his advisers and foreign leaders “.
Although many experts have warned that the talks with Kislyak were illegal, that was not what cost him the position. The lies with which he tried to overcome the situation did.
Flynn’s resignation at this time may leave more questions than answers, as the Washington Post reported Monday, former interim Attorney General Sally Yates, purged by Trump for insubordination warned in January Donald McGahn of what was happening.
Yates told him that Flynn’s revelations to the Russian ambassador made him even vulnerable to possible blackmail from the Kremlin.
After accepting his resignation, Trump appointed retired lieutenant general Joseph Keith Kellogg, a decorated US Army commander who fought in Vietnam as interim national security adviser.
Kellogg was in the running with former CIA and retired general David Petraeus and Vice Admiral Robert Harward, ex-deputy commander of Central Command, in charge of Middle East operations.
Accused of flirting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, like Trump himself, Flynn was obsessed with jihad-ism and this was what cost him, he claims, his previous position as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) during the Government of Obama.
Well valued among hard-line Republicans and far removed from political neutrality, Flynn also called for “locking” Democrat Hillary Clinton in jail for her mismanagement of emails when she was Secretary of state.
Lover of fake news, the term in the United States to talk about the falsified news, that spread through its social networks during the campaign, Flynn ended up condemning a lie.