Flynn fallout riles Washington
Politics | Republicans and Democrats both want answers about the high-profile resignation
by J.C. Derrick & Kent Covington
Posted 2/15/17, 12:15 pm
President Donald Trump is contemplating a replacement for Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who resigned as national security adviser on Monday amid claims he crossed a line in post-election talks with the Russians.
The White House says it’s not clear Flynn broke any laws by allegedly discussing U.S. sanctions with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office.
“The issue is whether or not he failed to properly inform the vice president or not be honest with him, or not remember it, but that’s the plain and simple issue. And when he lost trust with the president, that’s when the president asked for and received his resignation,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.
Vice President Mike Pence went on television to defend Flynn, who initially said he never talked to the Russians about sanctions. Former acting attorney general Sally Yates warned administration officials Flynn could be subject to blackmail because the Russians had proof from wiretaps that he was not fully truthful with Pence.
The New York Times has reported the FBI questioned Flynn, who could face criminal charges if he lied during that interview.
Flynn’s fall is surprising because, as recently as 2014, he served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, a position that should have taught him to beware of wiretaps and phone call conversations. His departure adds even more uncertainty to the Trump administration, which still has key positions unfilled.
Meanwhile, Democrats want a probe of Flynn’s ties to Russian officials, and Republican lawmakers are calling for an investigation into who leaked classified information about Flynn’s phone calls. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, wants to know why intelligence officials eavesdropped on Flynn’s calls with the Russian ambassador.
“I expect for the FBI to tell me what was going on, and they better have a good answer,” Nunes said.
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J.C. is a former reporter and editor for WORLD.