Loss of Flynn is seen as a major blow to Trump administration
Loss of Flynn is seen as a major blow to Trump administration

Michael Flynn, the embattled National Security Advisor who has been accused of inappropriate connections with the Russian government, has resigned.

It follows revelations in January by then acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates who warned the White House in late January that Michael Flynn had misrepresented the content of his calls with a Russian diplomat and could be vulnerable to blackmail.

The resignation of Flynn follows news that White House CISO Cory Louie has departed under a cloud and federal CISO Gregory Touhill resigned and underscores the perception problem that Trump has regarding the twin issues of cyber-security and Russia.  

Speculation had been swirling for a while that Flynn discussed sanctions leveled against Russia by former President Barack Obama for its alleged interference in the US presidential election, but Flynn denied wrongdoing and the White House stood behind the former three-star General.

That support appears to have started crumbling after the Washington Post, citing US officials, revealed Yates was so concerned that Flynn might have been compromised she contacted the White House. Yates was fired by President Donald Trump shortly thereafter for not enforcing the president's controversial immigration ban.

When rumors first surfaced that Flynn had discussed the sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Vice President Mike Pence said the National Security Advisor had assured him that the calls were innocuous.

In his resignation letter, Flynn said he'd apologised to both the president and vice president and claimed to have "inadvertently briefed the Vice President-elect and others with incomplete information” about the calls.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) told MSNBC that the Flynn controversy raises questions about the administration's relationship with Russia before the election.

Trump has named Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg as acting National Security Advisor.