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US National Security Adviser Flynn resigns over controversial Russian contacts

US National Security Adviser Flynn resigns over controversial Russian contacts

President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned late on Monday under scrutiny over whether he discussed the possibility of lifting us sanctions on Russian Federation before Trump took office.

"No, absolutely not, no, no, no", Spicer said to a reporter who asked whether Trump had instructed Flynn to discuss Russian sanctions during a conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Just three weeks after taking office, and after a campaign that highlighted his executive experience, Trump is facing calls both from inside and outside his administration to reshuffle his senior leadership team.

Mr Flynn resigned over allegations he discussed USA sanctions with a Russian envoy before Donald Trump took office.

Flynn has walked back his initial response, saying he has "no recollection" of speaking about the sanctions, but "can't be certain" as to whether or not they were discussed, as a Trump administration official told the Associated Press.

"Gen. Flynn's resignation also raises further questions about the Trump administration's intentions toward Vladimir Putin's Russian Federation, including statements by the president suggesting moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation despite its invasion of Ukraine, annexation of Crimea, threats to our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and attempted interference in American elections", McCain, R-Ariz., said in a statement.

The two-week lag between when Trump, Bannon and Priebus learned of Flynn's misdirection and when Pence himself found out through news reports has raised speculation as to Pence's true clout - or lack thereof - within the White House.

It was notable, however, that Trump did not use the opportunity of a joint news conference with visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday to make a public show of support for Flynn. "And by nighttime, Mike Flynn had decided it was best to resign".

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"I think from the administration's point of view, this is an opportunity to make a very major pronouncement on its foreign policy and its European policy", said Alexander Vershbow, a former US ambassador to Russian Federation and a former deputy secretary general of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. On Tuesday, The New York Times published another piece on the FBI investigation that is looking into at least three Trump associates who have been investigated about potential contact with Russian Federation in the year leading up to the presidential election in November.

"He's not out of the woods", said a USA official who is familiar with the transcripts of intercepted communications between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in late December.

The people must hope that Flynn's extremely poor judgment, in both his contacts with Russian Federation and with his giving misinformation to Vice President Pence about those contacts - whereupon Pence defended him - is an aberration.

Trump previously has criticized North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as "obsolete" and raised concerns about the financial commitment of the USA compared with other members.

The claims were addressed again in a Washington Post report on Thursday, in which "senior United States officials" interpreted Flynn's statements to Kisalyak as "inappropriate and potentially illegal" promises of an easing in sanctions.

Michael Flynn may no longer work for President Trump, but the President still defends him. The leaks are said to be based on communications intercepts, which could include email, texts or telephone conversations. The president, Spicer insisted, had been asked "specifically" about The Washington Post story and replied that "he hadn't seen that at the time".

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called for Flynn to be fired, saying he "cannot be trusted to put Putin before America". But when did Trump know about Flynn's Russian Federation phone call?

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