After the early morning political fallout over the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Press Secretary Sean Spicer added further confusion by detailing a conflicting sequence of events regarding the details surrounding Flynn’s resignation at a Tuesday press briefing, NPR reports.
Spicer echoed the explanation colleague Kellyanne Conway gave during a Tuesday morning interview on NBC, disclosing Flynn’s resignation was based on the erosion of trust between Flynn and Vice President Mike Pence, which gave President Trump serious concerns.
Spicer then informed the press that President Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation, countering initial reports that Flynn made the decision on his own after information surfaced that he spoke out of turn with a Russian official regarding imposed U.S. sanctions.
“But throughout the tense White House briefing, Spicer offered up a conflicting timeline for how the phone call between Flynn and the Russian ambassador came to light, when the Department of Justice alerted them of issues from the conversation and how long it took the president to decide on Flynn’s fate.
‘We’ve been reviewing and evaluating this issue with respect to Gen. Flynn on a daily basis for a few weeks, trying to ascertain the truth,’ Spicer said, even though Trump said Friday aboard Air Force One as he was traveling to his Mar-a-Lago resort that he wasn’t aware of a Washington Post story that Flynn had misled Pence about his call with the Russian ambassador.”
In December, the Justice Department warned the White House that Flynn could be subject to blackmail and also inferred that Flynn misled senior officials about his communication with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States.