Donald Trump’ National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, has resigned after information leaked from inside the intelligence community disclosing that Flynn misled Vice President Pence on discussions with Russian Ambassador, Sergey Lislyak, regarding Russian sanctions.
Pence and Flynn met to discuss Ambassador Lislyak. Pence then appeared in interviews repeating information disclosed by Flynn, including that there had been no discussions about sanctions at that time. Since the leak from the intelligence community surfaced, Flynn pressure was building for Flynn to resign.
Flynn announced his resignation Monday evening writing:
"Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology."
The Trump administration has already come under fire with accusations by political pundits and Democrats that Trump had nefarious dealings with Vladimir Putin including undermining the 2017 Presidential election results. No evidence has surfaced to validate the accusations, but this does not relieve the building pressure against the administration.
Flynn is not the first of Trump’s staffers that has received pressure from the media and the political opposition. Kelly Ann Conway has come under fire after defending Ivanka Trump after Nordstrom dropped Ivanka’s clothing line. Conway put herself into the controversy declaring that she was doing a “free commercial” for Ivanka. Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, (NY-D), has rallied a gauntlet of opposition against the Trump agenda pushing back all Trump cabinet appointments. Schumer is expected to lead a filibuster against Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Neil Gorsuch.
Trump’s anti-establishment message has struck a cord with the transitioning government, and Flynn appears to be the first one to fall. Republicans have joined in piling on the pressure. The Daily Caller reported that Colorado Rep., Mike Coffman, was the first Republican lawmaker to call for Flynn’s resignation.
“As national security advisor, Michael Flynn is responsible to the President, Vice President, and the American people. It is his duty to be fully transparent and forthright in his actions — anything less is unacceptable. If in fact he purposely misled the President, he should step down immediately,”
Republican Senator, Susan Collins, from Maine, told CNN that she was concerned over Flynn’s discussion with Russian officials.
"It would be very difficult for me to continue to rely on someone in such a vital position if I found out the person had not been truthful in describing his conversations with important foreign nationals prior to the appointment,"
As the power shifts in Washington, there will surely be more pressure on Trump and his administration as he continues to roll out his agenda to change the landscape of Washington DC. The longer that Schumer stalls the confirmation of Trump’s cabinet, the harder it will be for Trump to manage the tenor of his first 100 days.