WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) — National Security Adviser Michael Flynn announces his resignation late Monday night 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 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.
Two people familiar with the situation say the Justice Department warned the Trump administration about Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russia.
One person says the Justice Department told the administration there was a discrepancy between what the White House was saying publicly about Flynn’s contacts and the facts of what occurred.
The person says the Justice Department was concerned that Flynn could be in a compromised position.
A Trump administration official says the White House has been aware of the Justice Department warning for “weeks.” That official would not say if the president had been briefed on the matter.
The two people were not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.