We now have the first casualty of the Trump Administration. Trump’s National Security Adviser General Mike Flynn resigned. His resignation came after the revelation that the general had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States.
Apparently, General Flynn had told the administration that he did not discuss government sanctions with the Russian ambassador. However, it was later revealed that the topic had come up in their telephone exchange.
While Flynn did not break any laws, he created a scenario whereby Vice President Pence went on the Sunday talk shows saying that “to his knowledge” Flynn had not discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador.
Although President Trump did not “fire” Flynn, his top adviser Steve Bannon was pushing for Flynn to step down once the administration became aware of the miscommunication. The Washington Post had also reported that the former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, whom Trump fired two weeks ago, told the White House a month ago that Flynn was vulnerable to being blackmailed. This combination of events made Flynn’s position as National Security Adviser unsustainable.
Retired Army General Joseph “Keith” Kellogg was named interim National Security Adviser. Kellogg, who led the 82nd Airborne Division, was chief operating officer of the Western coalition in Baghdad, Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
Other potential candidates for the position include Navy Vice Admiral Robert Harward, former deputy commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, and former CIA Director David Petraeus.
Some say that Petraeus carries too much baggage. Petraeus pleaded guilty to sharing classified information with Paula Broadwell, with whom he was having an affair while she was writing his biography. Petraeus ultimately was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine and to serve two years of probation. If asked to join the Trump Administration, he would still be under probation until April.
Insiders say Harward is the most likely candidate to replace Flynn.
Update: Harward has turned down the offer.
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