Trump searches for Michael Flynn's replacement -- and faces questions


usatoday.com

WASHINGTON — Less than a month after taking office, President Trump must find a new national security adviser after Michael Flynn resigned for lying about his talks with a Russian ambassador, and the administration now faces questions about what the White House knew about the situation.
Citing reports that the Justice Department warned the White House a month ago that Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail because he had misrepresented his talks with the Russian official, Democrats and other Trump critics made clear they would continue to press Trump and the administration about the incident, including Russia's overall role in the 2016 election.
"The Trump administration has yet to be forthcoming about who was aware of Flynn's conversations with the ambassador and whether he was acting on the instructions of the president or any other officials, or with their knowledge," said U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
During a conversation late last year with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, Flynn discussed then forthcoming sanctions the Obama administration was placing on Russia over involvement in the 2016 U.S. election, including the hacking the emails of Democratic Party officials close to nominee Hillary Clinton.
Flynn initially denied discussing sanctions with Kislyak — a falsehood repeated in public statements by Vice President Pence, among other administration officials. Aides to the president said Pence protested and played a role in discussions about what to do with Flynn.
"Misleading the vice president really was the key here," presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway told NBC's Today show Tuesday.
On Monday, just hours before Flynn announced his resignation, Conway said the national security adviser enjoyed the full confidence of the president. She told NBC that Flynn changed his mind later and resigned because "he knew he had become a lightning rod."
While Trump named an acting national security adviser — retired three-star general Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr.,—  the White House has floated other names to take over the post full time.
They include Robert Harward, a former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command and protege of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and retired Gen. David Petraeus, a former CIA director who resigned after acknowledging he gave classified information to a biographer with whom he was having an affair.
In his resignation letter, Flynn said that, because of the "fast pace of events," he "inadvertently" gave Pence and others "incomplete information" about his call with the Russian ambassador. "I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology," Flynn wrote.
While a close adviser to Trump during his presidential campaign, Flynn was in trouble from Day One. Critics cited his past ties to Russia, and what appeared to be signs of disorganization within the National Security Council.
A former intelligence official fired from his post by President Obama, Flynn made himself a political target by campaigning aggressively against Clinton, sometimes leading Trump supporters in chants of "lock her up!"
Flynn resigned hours after Trump spokesman Sean Spicer announced that the president was "evaluating the situation" regarding Flynn — and hours after the Washington Post report that the administration had known about Flynn's sanctions discussion for at least a month.
Then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed the Trump White House late last month that Flynn had misrepresented his conversations with the ambassador and was subject to Russian blackmail because of it, a U.S. official told the paper.
Flynn's tenure as national security adviser, less than a month, is by far the shortest ever for the influential position. President Ronald Reagan's first NSA, Richard Allen, lasted just under a year.
Clinton, whom Trump defeated in the November election, also weighed in on Flynn, re-tweeting a message from former spokesman Philippe Reines about the involvement of Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., spreading "fake news" about the Democratic campaign.
"Philippe's got his own way of saying things, but he has a point about the real consequences of fake news," Clinton said.

Trump searches for Michael Flynn's replacement -- and faces questions Trump searches for Michael Flynn's replacement -- and faces questions Reviewed by Usa Tv on February 14, 2017 Rating: 5

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