Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Advisor

National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has resigned, the White House announced in a statement late Monday.

President Donald Trump has named Retired Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. as acting national security advisor.

The move comes after Flynn was unable to shake growing calls for his resignation, following reports that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence on discussions he had with a Russian official before Trump took office.

Flynn had originally told Pence that he did not discuss the issue of sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a series of phone calls the month before President Trump was sworn in.

Pence then told CBS in January that Flynn had never spoken about the sanctions during his calls to Russia.

However, after anonymous U.S. officials leaked a transcript of a call between Flynn and Kislyak showing that the topic was discussed, Flynn said the topic may have come up, but he had forgotten.

In his letter of resignation, Flynn said his omission was not intentional and was due to the “fast pace of events.”

“In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors. 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,” he said.

“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,” he said.

Flynn also defended himself over allegations that he had purposely misled the vice president.

“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,” he said.

He also said he was honored to have served the nation and the American people.

“I am also extremely honored to have served President Trump, who in just three weeks, has reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America’s leadership position in the world,” he said.

Flynn also thanked Trump for his “personal loyalty, the friendship of those who I worked with throughout the hard fought campaign, the challenging period of transition, and during the early days of his presidency.”

“I know with the strong leadership of President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and the superb team they are assembling, this team will go down in history as one of the greatest presidencies in U.S. history, and I firmly believe the American people will be well served as they all work together to help Make America Great Again,” he said.

Kellogg is a decorated 36-year Army veteran and served two tours in the Vietnam War, where he earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with “V” device, and the Air Medal with “V” device, according to the White House’s statement.

Kellogg also served as the Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division from 1997 to 1998. His last assignment was as Director of the Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Directorate under the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Full White House Statement:

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2017

President Donald J. Trump Names Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. as Acting National Security Advisor
Accepts Resignation of Lt. General Michael Flynn

President Donald J. Trump has named Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. (Ret) as Acting National Security Advisor following the resignation of Lt. General Michael Flynn (Ret). General Kellogg is a decorated veteran of the United States Army, having served from 1967 to 2003, including two tours during the Vietnam War, where he earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with “V” device, and the Air Medal with “V” device. He served as the Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division from 1997 to 1998. Prior to his retirement, General Kellogg was Director of the Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Directorate under the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The full text of General Flynn’s resignation letter is below:

February 13, 2017

In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors. 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.

I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way.

I am also extremely honored to have served President Trump, who in just three weeks, has reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America’s leadership position in the world.

As I step away once again from serving my nation in this current capacity, I wish to thank President Trump for his personal loyalty, the friendship of those who I worked with throughout the hard fought campaign, the challenging period of transition, and during the early days of his presidency.

I know with the strong leadership of President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and the superb team they are assembling, this team will go down in history as one of the greatest presidencies in U.S. history, and I firmly believe the American people will be well served as they all work together to help Make America Great Again.

Michael T. Flynn, LTG (Ret)
Assistant to the President / National Security Advisor

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