(FILES): This file photo taken on December 11, 2016 shows retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then US President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for National Security Advisor, waiting for an elevator in the lobby at Trump Tower in New York City. The White House announced February 13, 2017 that Michael Flynn has resigned as President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, amid escalating controversy over his contacts with Moscow. In his formal resignation letter, Flynn acknowledged that in the period leading up to Trump’s inauguration: “I inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador.” Trump has named retired lieutenant general Joseph Kellogg, who was serving as a director on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as acting national security advisor, the White House said. / AFP PHOTO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Drew Angerer
The Kremlin on Tuesday insisted that the resignation of Donald Trump’s security adviser Michael Flynn over contacts with the Russian government was Washington’s internal affair.
The White House late Monday said Trump had accepted Flynn’s resignation amid allegations the retired three-star general discussed US sanctions strategy with Russia’s ambassador Sergey Kislyak before taking office.
“This is the internal business of the Americans, it is the internal business of President Trump’s administration. This is not our business,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
Flynn admitted that he “inadvertently briefed” the now Vice President Mike Pence with “incomplete information” about his calls with Kislyak.
Pence had publicly defended Flynn, saying he did not discuss sanctions, putting his own credibility into question.
US media reported Monday that the Justice Department had warned the White House that Flynn had misled senior administration officials about the contents of his talks with Kislyak, and that it could make him vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
The Kremlin has previously denied that Flynn and Kislyak discussed the lifting of US sanctions.
The resignation of the top aide is a first stunning departure from the president’s inner circle less than a month after his inauguration.
Flynn — who has previously met President Vladimir Putin — was a vocal supporter of a softer policy on Russia after ties plunged over Moscow’s meddling in Ukraine and allegations of interference in the US election.