By Bonnie K. Goodman
President Donald Trump has fired his first cabinet member. On Monday evening, Feb. 13, 2017, Trump accepted the resignation of his embattled National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Flynn is accused of discussing sanctions with the Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak before Trump being sworn-in as president. Trump installed Retired Army Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg as his acting national security adviser after the president accepted Flynn’s resignation.
Flynn supposedly discussed sanctions the Obama administration imposed on Russia for hacking and interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn repeatedly denied the discussions. In January, the Department of Justice notified the Trump White House of Flynn’s supposed actions and that he had not told the truth about the nature of his calls with Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials.
Flynn apologized for misleading Pence and to the president. On Monday afternoon, the president had not yet decided what to do with Flynn. Late in the afternoon, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus stated, “the president is evaluating the situation.” Flynn was an early supporter of the president during his campaign, and Trump named him his National Security Advisor on Nov. 18, 2016.
Flynn had become a liability to Trump’s administration, as Russian interference in the election loomed large especially from Democrats, who believe Russia was responsible f or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton losing because of the hackings into the Democratic National Committee’s email accounts and that of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.
Democrats have long suspected that Trump or his campaign was in on Russia’s interference so that he could be elected president, an accusation Trump and his campaign vehemently denied. Trump is now considering retired Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward and former CIA Director David Petraeus for National Security advisor.
The following is an excerpt from Flynn’s resignation letter to the president:
“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.”
“I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way.”
Source: ABC News Radio Online