During several television interviews on Tuesday morning, Kellyanne Conway insisted that it was Michael Flynn’s decision to resign from his role as National Security Adviser.
During an interview on NBC’s “Today,” Matt Lauer asked Conway how Flynn resigned so quickly after she had said earlier Monday that Flynn had Trump’s “full confidence.”
In response, Conway indicated that her comment was true at the time and that it was Flynn’s decision to resign.
“The President is very loyal. He’s a very loyal person. And by nighttime, Mike Flynn had decided it was best to resign. He knew he became a lightning rod, and he made that decision,” she said.
Lauer then asked if Trump would have kept Flynn on had he not resigned himself.
“That fact is what became unsustainable actually. I think misleading the Vice President really was the key here,” Conway replied.
When Lauer noted that the White House was warned by the Justice Department in January that Flynn had spoken about U.S. sanctions to the Russian ambassador, contradicting Flynn’s characterization to Vice President Mike Pence about the calls, Conway said that was “one characterization.” Conway said that Flynn continued in his role, participating in daily briefings.
“As time wore on, obviously the situation had become unsustainable,” she added..
“That makes no sense,” Lauer replied, asking Conway if Trump trusted Flynn after the DOJ warning about Flynn’s calls with Russia. Conway repeated that Flynn initiated his own resignation.
Lauer asked Conway if the White House had known about Flynn’s decision to discuss sanctions with Russia ahead of time.
“No, it would be a mistake to conclude that. Remember, in the end, it was misleading the Vice President that made the situation unsustainable,” she replied.
Conway made similar comments on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” She indicated in an interview with George Stephanopoulos that Flynn’s status in the administration changed over the weekend when he acknowledged that he did not share all of the details from his calls with the Russian ambassador.
“The bottom line is that as time wore on, as everybody continued in their roles, it became increasingly apparent — particularly over the weekend when Gen. Flynn clarified his own earlier statement, George, a statement that he had provided to the Vice President and that other members of the administration frankly went out and publicly repeated, which is that he had not discussed a certain topic in his conversations with the Russian ambassador,” Conway said. “And so when Gen. Flynn clarified his comments that it’s possible and he could not recall, that accelerated matters in a way that was different.”