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White House Says Decision to Cuts Ties with Flynn 'A Matter of Trust'

02-15-2017
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WASHINGTON -- The sudden resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn dominated Tuesday's White House press briefing. 
Big surprise.  

Flynn resigned after leaks revealed he had discussed the possibility of the U.S. lifting sanctions with a Russian ambassador BEFORE the inauguration. 

The questions came fast and furious: How long did the White House know about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak? And why did it take the president so long to act? 

An Issue of Trust

White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted Flynn didn't violate the law. 

"We had to review whether this was a legal issue, which the White House Counsel decided it was not," Spicer told reporters. 

Instead, they said Flynn violated the trust of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. 

"The issue pure and simple came down to a matter of trust," Spicer declared. 

The White House defended Flynn's decision to speak with his counterparts, saying that behavior is common. Spicer also drove home the idea that President Trump did not instruct Flynn to speak on sanctions 

He said the decision to cut ties was tough. 

"He has been an outstanding member of the Army… he served this country admirably," said Spicer. 

The White House said the real story is the leaks and that they have affected the White House going back to the Obama administration. He reiterated this should be a bipartisan concern. 

Trump echoed that sentiment, tweeting: "The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on North Korea etc?"

House Democrats are calling for a full investigation of Flynn. Spicer said the White House will go along with that should it happen. 

"We are going to comply with the law," Spicer said. 

Security at Mar-a-Lago

Spicer also spent his afternoon shooting down rumors that Trump discussed classified information in a public setting.  The president came under fire after photos surfaced of him and Japanese Prime Minister Abe seemingly discussing intelligence at a restaurant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. 

Spicer denied this and said the president was briefed in private ahead of dinner.  

He said conclusions about what they were discussing were "nefarious." 
 

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