Published: Fri, February 17, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Donald Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn resigns over Russian Federation links


Media captionIs losing top job in 24 days a record? Even if the president wasn't aware of any of the reports, Trump clearly knew more than he was letting on.

Flynn admitted in his resignation letter that he had "inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and other with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador". Indeed, Russia did not retaliate for the sanctions and Trump praised President Vladimir Putin, calling him smart.

But calls for an independent investigation have encountered a cold reaction from some senior Republicans.

At issue is whether Flynn broke diplomatic protocol and potentially the law by discussing U.S. sanctions with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, before Trump's inauguration. In fact, the White House confirmed media reports that Flynn spoke with the Russian ambassador about US sanctions, precipitating his resignation, so the media reports were accurate.

Retired Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg, who advised Trump on foreign policy during his 2016 campaign, will serve as the president's acting national security adviser in lieu of a permanent replacement. Flynn, a retired USA army general, he has long called for closer cooperation with Moscow.

After ticking off a series of purported victories-including incorrectly stating that he had secured the greatest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan and lamenting that he "inherited a mess" when he was sworn into office-the president grew increasingly agitated as he responded to a question about Flynn's resignation. During numerous portions of the torrential press conference, Mr Trump touted his electoral college victory - incorrectly saying that it was the largest victory since Reagan. "I think the president made the right decision to ask for his resignation. you can not have a national security adviser misleading the vice president and others", Ryan said. But the trust had gone. By what authority did Flynn act and to whom did he report? Mr Spicer would say only that Mr Flynn was continuing to carry out "his daily functions".

He said he was concerned that the apparently classified information had been leaked.

"They are trying to figure out the solution to Flynn right now", said one of Politico's sources.

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"The leaks are absolutely real, the news is fake, because so much of the news is fake", Mr Trump said. "Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N Korea etc?"

Key members of the intelligence community and Congress have been kept in the dark over counterintelligence investigations into Trump's inner circle, underscoring concern of a disconnect between Trump and his national security apparatus.

Several house Democrats called on oversight committee chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, to launch an investigation into Mr Flynn's ties to Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, US House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, also Republican, told reporters on Tuesday he wanted to investigate the leaks that led to Mr Flynn's resignation. The president did not take a question about Mr Flynn's future from two reporters who were called upon, and he ignored journalists' shouted follow-up inquiries as he left the room. "The news is fake", he said.

"This is the internal business of the Americans, it is the internal business of President Trump's administration", spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in Moscow. "It's nothing to do with us".

Almost a month into his presidency, Mr Trump said his new administration had made "significant progress" and took credit for an optimistic business climate and a rising stock market. "We'll review everything.' I never said anything such as, 'We're going to review sanctions, ' or anything like that".

Several House Democrats had already called on Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz to launch an investigation into Mr Flynn's ties to Russian Federation.

But these attacks stand in stark contrast to Trump's opinions during his presidential campaign, where he once proclaimed, "I love Wikileaks", over a crowd of supports chanting "Lock her up".

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