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Trump Blames Flynn’s Resignation on ‘Illegal Leaks’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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File photo of national security adviser Michael Flynn by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Washington – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the “real story” behind the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was “illegal leaks”.

“The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal with N. Korea etc?” Trump tweeted.

In a statement on Monday night, the White House announced Flynn’s resignation following heated controversy surrounding alleged communications with Russia.

In comments last week, Flynn denied speaking with Russia’s U.S. ambassador during the transition about sanctions imposed by former U.S. President Barack Obama, but admitted this week that he may have done so and “inadvertently” told Vice President Mike Pence and others otherwise.

In his resignation letter, Flynn said: “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.”

He added: “Throughout my over thirty three years of honorable military service, and my tenure as the National Security Advisor, I have always performed my duties with the utmost of integrity and honesty to those I have served, to include the President of the United States.”

“I am also extremely honored to have served President Trump, who in just three weeks, has reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America’s leadership position in the world,” Flynn continued.

Flynn had informed Pence that his conversation with the Russian ambassador in late December had not tackled the issues of the sanctions. Pence repeated that assertion in a televised interview in mid-January, but later learned he had been given “incomplete information”, according to his press secretary, when The Washington Post reported on Feb. 9 that Flynn had discussed sanctions with the ambassador.