Joining NBC's 'Today Show' live, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, tells Matt Lauer that Michael Flynn resigned as Trump’s national security adviser because “he knew he’d become a lightning rod.” She says that Flynn’s misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his conversation with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office “made the situation unsustainable,” but is noncommittal on the question of whether Flynn was a prudent choice in the first place.
MATT LAUER: So if he had not resigned, the president would have continued with him as the national security adviser? Even though he misled the vice president and the administration about the contents of that call?
KELLYANNE CONWAY: That fact is what became unsustainable, actually, I think misleading the vice president really was the key here. I spoke with the president this morning and he asked me to speak on his behalf and to reiterate that Mike Flynn had resigned, he decided that this situation had become unsustainable for him... and of course the president accepted that resignation.
LAUER: You're saying that was the straw that broke the camel's back, but the White House knew about that last month, when the Justice Department warned them that Mr. Flynn had not been completely honest in characterizing that conversation with the Russian ambassador. And they even went further to say that as a result of this dishonesty, he was at ricks of blackmail from the Russians.
CONWAY: That is one characterization, but the fact is that Gen. Flynn continued in that position... as recently as yesterday he was there for the prime minister of Canada yesterday, and as time wore on obviously the situation became unsustainable.
LAUER: That makes no sense. Last month, the Justice Dept. warned the White House that Gen. Flynn had misled them, and as a result he was vulnerable to blackmail. And at that moment he still had the complete trust of the president?
President Trump tweeted this morning: "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 N.Korea etc?"
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 N.Korea etc?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2017