U.S. President Donald Trump knew for weeks that national security adviser Michael Flynn had misled the White House about his contacts with Russia but did not immediately force him out, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said. Andy Sullivan reports.
Washington erupting Tuesday over the sudden exit of President Donald Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn... the uproar only inflamed by the White House admission that Trump knew for weeks about the phone calls with Russia that cost Flynn his job. (SOUNDBITE) WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN, SEAN SPICER, SAYING: "The White House council briefed the president and a small group of senior advisors. The White House council reviewed and determined that there is not an illegal issue, but rather a trust issue." Flynn resigned after revelations that he discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with that country's ambassador to the United States while he was still a private citizen, which is a possible violation of the law. He also misled Vice President Mike Pence about those calls. The Justice Department reportedly warned the White House weeks ago that those conversations with ambassador Sergey Kislyak could leave him vulnerable to blackmail. Flynn apologizing to the president and vice president on the way out the door. (SOUNDBITE) HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADER, NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "But the questions that arise are even bigger." U.S. lawmakers, including some Republicans, called on Tuesday for a deeper inquiry: some calling for Flynn to testify about his activity. The role filled for now by General Keith Kellogg… but vice admiral Robert Howard emerging as the lead candidate to take the job.