President Trump asked Michael Flynn to resign as national security adviser because of eroding trust, the White House said Tuesday.
In a briefing dominated by questions about Flynn, press secretary Sean Spicer repeatedly said the former national security adviser had done nothing wrong in talking to counterparts around the world, including from Russia.
He said Trump had fired Flynn not because of those conversations, but because Trump felt that his trust in Flynn had “eroded.”
“There is not a legal issue but a trust issue,” Spicer said.
In his own resignation letter on Monday, Flynn apologized for giving an inaccurate assessment of his conversation with Russia’s ambassador to the United States to then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence
.Flynn’s conversation with Pence led the vice president to go on television and say that Flynn had not discussed the issue of sanctions on Russia with the ambassador.
But top officials with the FBI and other intelligence agencies had information that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Russia. They brought that information to the White House.
The news that Flynn had misled Pence about his conversations appeared to doom Flynn in the White House.
But Democrats and some Republicans say a much broader investigation is now necessary to look into Flynn’s contacts with Russia, which has been accused of interfering in the U.S. presidential election to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton.