Even Kellyanne Conway Can’t Spin Michael Flynn’s Sudden Resignation

Trump’s national security adviser stepped down amid reports he lied about his talks with Russia.


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.”

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.

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:

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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