Donald Trump

A Timeline of the Brief Tenure of Michael Flynn

Thomas Walker Gilmer only lasted 9 days in 1844 as Secretary of the Navy.  He died in an accident.  E. B. Washburne lasted 11 days in 1869 as Secretary of State.  He fell ill and resigned his post.  Michael Flynn lasted 24 days as National Security Advisor.  The New York Times reported the majority of the timeline below from Nov. 18th on.  I added a few dates prior to Nov. 18th and one on January 28th.

Dec. 1, 2015

Michael Flynn attended RT’s 10th anniversary celebration in Moscow.


Before Nov. 8

The Washington Post reported (my emphasis),

National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said….

The talks were part of a series of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak that began before the Nov. 8 election and continued during the transition, officials said. In a recent interview, Kislyak confirmed that he had communicated with Flynn by text message, by phone and in person, but declined to say whether they had discussed sanctions.

Nov. 18

President-elect Donald J. Trump offered Mr. Flynn the post of national security adviser,flynn2 elevating the retired general and intelligence officer who saw Islamist militancy as a global existential threat.

“I am pleased that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn will be by my side as we work to defeat radical Islamic terrorism, navigate geopolitical challenges and keep Americans safe at home and abroad,” Mr. Trump said at the time.

Dec. 29

Former President Barack Obama ejected dozens of suspected Russian intelligence operatives from the United States and imposed sanctions on Russia after American intelligence officials concluded that the nation had ordered the hacking of the Democratic National Committee in an attempt to tip the election to Mr. Trump.

In a phone conversation around the same time, Mr. Flynn discussed the sanctions with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, and urged Russia not to retaliate because doing so could complicate future cooperation between the two nations, according to former and current administration officials. The call was captured on a routine wiretap of diplomats’ calls, officials said.

Mr. Flynn never explicitly promised sanction relief, but seemed to leave the impression that it was possible, officials said. Private citizens are prohibited by law from engaging in diplomacy.

Jan. 15

Mr. Pence was asked about the phone call on the CBS Sunday morning program “Face the Nation,” following a Washington Post report on Mr. Flynn’s ties to Russia and his conversation with Ambassador Kislyak.

John Dickerson, the program’s host, asked if the exchanges had served to moderate the Russian response to the sanctions. Mr. Pence denied that sanctions had been discussed and described the timing of the conversation as “strictly coincidental.”

“What I can confirm, having spoken to him about it, is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions,” Mr. Pence said.

Officials said that Mr. Pence now believes that Mr. Flynn had lied to him by denying that the sanctions were discussed.

Jan. 20


Jan. 26

Soon after F.B.I. agents interviewed Mr. Flynn about the call, the acting attorney general, Sally Q. Yates, told Donald F. McGahn II, the new White House counsel, that Mr. Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail due to the discrepancy between his public statements and what intelligence officials knew about the call.

Mr. Trump was told “immediately” and instructed Mr. McGahn to conduct a review, Sean Spicer, the White press secretary, later explained. The review lasted several days and ended when Mr. McGahn concluded that nothing in the conversation had violated federal law.

Jan. 28

President Trump has phone conversations with leaders around the world, including Vladimir Putin.  There is one person in the oval office with Trump for all of these calls: Michael Flynn.

President Donald Trump, accompanied by, from second from left, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, vice President Mike Pence, White House press secretary Sean Spicer and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, speaks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Jan. 28, 2017 in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington D. C.
Donald Trump, Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull, with National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, center, and chief strategist Steve Bannon, right, in the Oval Office of the White House, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull, with National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, center, and chief strategist Steve Bannon, right, in the Oval Office of the White House, Jan. 28, 2017 in Washington D. C.

Feb. 10

Mr. Trump said he planned to “look into” reports from several news outlets about Mr. Flynn discussing sanctions with Ambassador Kislyak.

“I don’t know about that,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Air Force One. “I haven’t seen it.” The White House publicly denied that sanctions were discussed.

The White House later said that Mr. Trump had been informed weeks earlier that Mr. Flynn had not told the truth about his conversation with the Russian ambassador. A former administration official said the Justice Department had issued a warning in January to the White House, raising concerns that Mr. Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

Feb. 13

Despite conflicting reports about his status throughout the day, Mr. Flynn resigned on Monday evening, less than one month after Mr. Trump took office.  The resignation came so quickly that at least two staff members from the National Security Council siad they learned about it from the new reports.

“Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador,” Mr. Flynn wrote in his resignation letter. “I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology.”

“I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way,” he wrote.

Lt. Gen. Joseph K. Kellogg Jr. was named acting national security adviser.

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