White House National Security Advisor resigns

Zef Vataj, Crier Staff

Head of the National Security Council, Lt. General Michael Flynn, resigned just 21 days after being appointed.

After the election in December, Flynn reached out to his Russian counterpart Sergey Kislyak to establish a working relationship. Since Flynn was still a private citizen at the time, federal law prevented him from discussing matters of policy.

On January 15th, Vice President Mike Pence denied reports that Kislyak and Flynn discussed anything to do with the United States, while White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said days later that the two had merely discussed logistics.

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the administration that Flynn and Kislyak talked sanctions, violating the Logan Act, and that Flynn could be subjected to Russian blackmail because of the violation.

Yates’ warning was forwarded to White House Counsel Don McGahn, who spent over two weeks reviewing the information before briefing the President or the Vice President.

On February 9th, a Washington Post report concluded that Flynn had not only lied to the Vice President, but also may have lied to the FBI as well. Not only did the two discuss easing sanctions on Russia, they also discussed then-President Obama’s decision to expel diplomats in the wake of cyber attacks.

The Post story sent the White House Press Office scrambling, and numerous contradictory statements came flooding out of the West Wing.

On Feb. 10th, President Trump said he had no idea of the report, even though the Justice Department had briefed the White House more than two weeks earlier.

Then, three days later, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway said that Flynn “had the full confidence” of Trump, a statement directly contradicted by Sean Spicer just an hour later.

Spicer told reporters aboard Air Force One that the President was evaluating the situation, giving less than a ringing endorsement of Flynn.

Later that night, on February 13th, Flynn submitted his resignation. The President confirmed Flynn’s departure four days later, saying he had fired him for misleading the Vice President and eroding trust between the two.

Junior Devin Hemeon, a Business major from Gloucester, Massachusetts was encouraged by the firing of Flynn and remains confident in the Trump White House. “It is very unfortunate that General Flynn felt the need to lie to the Vice President and compromise information about his calls with Russia”, Hemeon said. “It was the right thing for him to be removed

As of Feb. 20, the President announced that Lt. General H.R. McMaster will succeed Flynn as the National Security Advisor.