Michael Flynn, a retired general, stepped down on Monday over allegations that he spoke to the Russian ambassador last year about the possibility of easing sanctions that then-President BarackObama had placed on Russia. The conversation would have taken place before Trump took office, and it’s illegal for private citizens to engage in diplomatic talks.
Trump may have been referring in his tweet to reports of North Korea’s missile test, which he appears to have discussed in the middle of the public dining area of his Florida club. One club member posted photos of the meeting on Facebook. It’s unclear whether the president and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with whom he was dining when the news broke, were handling classified materials.
Earlier on Monday, The Washington Post reported that the Department of Justice had previously warned the White House about Flynn’s relationship to Russia.
Retired Lt. Gen. Joseph Keith Kellogg Jr. will serve as acting national security advisor until Trump appoints a replacement.
Trump’s attitude toward Russia has also come under scrutiny, particularly in the wake of revelations that Russian President Vladimir Putin likely ordered his intelligence agencies to interfere with the U.S. presidential election. Trump has shied away from blaming Russia for hacking Democrats. The U.S. president also recently defended Putin over the alleged murders of his political opponents, saying, “we’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?”