Gen. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser and one of his strongest supporters during the 2016 presidential campaign, resigned Monday after a controversy involving his communications with the Russian government.
According to Fox News, Flynn did not inform administration officials about the fact that he was in frequent contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period, including on the day that President Obama slapped sanctions on the Russian government.
While Flynn had apologized privately to Vice President Mike Pence, silence from the president indicated that the former Army general was on thin ice, and on Monday he tendered his letter of resignation.
“In the course of my duties as the Incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors,” a copy of Flynn’s resignation letter obtained by Time states. “These calls were to facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships between the President, his advisors and foreign leaders. Such calls are standard practice in any transition of this magnitude.
“Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the president and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.
“Throughout my over thirty three years of honorable military service, and my tenure as the National Security Advisor, I have always performed my duties with the utmost of integrity and honesty to those I have served, to include the President of the United States,” Flynn continued. “I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way.”
It’s disappointing to see a career like Flynn’s end this way, but his resignation was for the best. It would have been impossible, given the magnitude of what he did, for him to continue in his position, and it seems like both he and the administration knew that.
While Flynn’s resignation was not unexpected, what was unexpected was the speed with which it happened. Trump is not known to suffer problematic individuals, either gladly or at all. The Russia incident proved that Flynn, for all of his qualifications, was not the man for the job, and it didn’t take long for him to no longer have the job.
Other politicians might have tried to bury this on a Friday evening after weeks — if not months — of speculation. Say what you will about them, but the Trump administration didn’t take this route. However, there’s still a lot of issues surrounding Flynn’s actions that need to be resolved. We’ll see what happens next.
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