White House counselor Kellyanne Conway struggled to respond to questions regarding Michael Flynn’s abrupt resignation Monday night as national security adviser, brushing aside reports that the White House had been warned of Flynn’s suspicious talks with Russia weeks ago.
In an interview on the Today show Tuesday, Conway claimed that the primary factor behind Flynn’s departure was that he misled administration officials about the nature of his December communications with the Russian ambassador. “That fact is what became unsustainable, actually,” Conway said during the appearance. “I think misleading the vice president really was the key here and I spoke with the president this morning. He asked me to speak on his behalf and to reiterate that Mike Flynn had resigned.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 14, 2017
But when Matt Lauer pushed back on Conway’s timeline, pointing to reports indicating the Justice Department actually warned the White House of Flynn’s private phone calls three weeks ago, Conway retorted, “Well, that’s one characterization.”
Her comments come just one day after she also said Flynn enjoyed the “full confidence” of President Donald Trump.
Flynn’s decision to step down from his post follows mounting controversy over a Washington Post story alleging that he discussed easing sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office.
During a separate appearance on Good Morning America, Conway said she did not know if the president was told last month that Flynn had been compromised.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 14, 2017
Conway’s media appearances on Tuesday come amid virtual silence from Republicans on Flynn’s resignation. When asked why the GOP was remaining quiet on the subject Tuesday, Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) reminded CNN it was Valentine’s Day:
Cuomo: Why is GOP so quiet on Flynn?
Rep. Chris Collins: “Well, it’s Valentine’s Day and I guess they’re having breakfast with their wives” pic.twitter.com/zveCGjtkOI
— CNN (@CNN) February 14, 2017