House

Ryan: Trump ‘right’ to ask Flynn to resign

Greg Nash

President Trump made the right call in asking his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, to resign after reports he misled top White House officials about his conversations with Russia, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters Tuesday.

“National security is the most important function or responsibility a president has. And I think the president made the right decision to ask for his resignation,” Ryan said at the Capitol. “You cannot have a national security adviser misleading the vice president and others.

“So I think the president was right to ask for his resignation, and I believe it was the right thing to do.”

{mosads}In his remarks, Ryan made it clear that Trump had asked Flynn for his resignation.

That differed from an earlier account in The Washington Post that said Trump had not asked Flynn for his resignation and that the retired Army lieutenant general had stepped down on his own.

“I’ll leave it up to the administration to describe the circumstances surrounding what brought [them] to this point,” Ryan continued. “I think the key to this: that as soon as this person lost the president’s trust, the president asked for his resignation.”

In his resignation letter Monday night, Flynn explained that he “inadvertently” gave Vice President Mike Pence and others “incomplete information” about his phone conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. The two men reportedly discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia during the transition period before Trump took office.

Asked whether Congress needed to get involved or conduct an independent investigation into the matter, Ryan said it was too early for that discussion. Both House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Tuesday they had no plans to launch a separate congressional probe of Flynn.

“I’m not going to prejudge the circumstances surrounding this. I think the administration will explain the circumstances that led to this,” Ryan said. “The intelligence community has been looking into this thing all along, by the way, just the involvement with respect to Russia.

“I think it’s really important to realize that as soon as they were being misled by the national security adviser, they asked for his resignation.”

Addressing a separate controversy, the Speaker said it was his understanding that “no classified information” was discussed by Trump as he dined with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Both leaders were briefed in view of members in the dining room that North Korea had launched a ballistic missile.

“Talking about foreign policy at the dinner table is perfectly appropriate,” Ryan said.

–This report was updated at 11:46 a.m.

Tags Jason Chaffetz Michael Flynn Mike Pence Paul Ryan
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