Michael Flynn is a former United States Army lieutenant general known for serving as the 18th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 24th July, 2012 to 7th August, 2014 under President Barack Obama’s presidency. He served as the 25th National Security Advisor in President Donald Trump’s administration from January 20, 2017 until his sudden resignation on February 13, 2017.
But why did Michael Flynn resign as National Security Adviser?
Flynn was forced to resign as Trump’s national security adviser because of his contacts with Russian officials, which took place late last year after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.
In December 2016, Flynn had a series of phone discussions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during which he talked about the Obama administration’s retaliatory measures against Russia in response to its interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Since it is illegal for a private citizen of the United States to conduct U.S. diplomacy, technically Flynn flouted the law since as of the time of his meeting with the Russian ambassador to discuss the Obama administrations sanctions against Russia, he had not yet been appointed to the post of National Security Advisor. Flynn however, denied discussing U.S. sanctions with the Russian ambassador.
Shortly after Flynn was appointed the 25th National Security Advisor, U.S. counterintelligence agents opened an investigation into his communications with top Russian officials, and on February 9, 2017, U.S. the agents revealed that Flynn actually discussed U.S. sanctions with Russian officials while he was still a private citizen. It is worth noting that prior to this disclosure by U.S. counterintelligence agents, the Justice Department had already warned the Trump administration that Flynn had not been entirely truthful regarding his contacts with Russian officials and that he might be vulnerable to being blackmailed by Russian intelligence.
In his letter of resignation, Flynn acknowledged that he “inadvertently briefed the vice-president-elect” and other officials with “incomplete information” about his discussions with the Russian ambassador.