The Latest: White House says Flynn posed a trust problem

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

The White House says that President Donald Trump asked his national security adviser to tender his resignation because of a trust issue, not a legal issue.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that retired Gen. Michael Flynn either mislead Vice President Mike Pence and others, or forgot “critical details” about his call with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., creating “a critical mass and an unsustainable situation.”

Flynn resigned his position late Monday, days after a Washington Post report revealed that Flynn addressed sanctions with the diplomat while President Barack Obama was still in office.

Spicer said that Trump was briefed by his advisers after officials with the Justice Department flagged the phone call. Spicer says the White House counsel determined the situation did not pose a legal issue.


1:30 p.m.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the departure of President Donald Trump’s national security adviser “has no effect at all” on him.

Speaking to reporters on the way to a NATO defense ministers’ meeting, Mattis says of Michael Flynn’s resignation: “Frankly, this has no impact.”

Mattis says he hasn’t changed what he is planning to do in Europe this week, or what his message will be.

He says he will work with whoever is on the president’s staff.

So, he says, “It’s full speed ahead.”


1 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he wants to know what’s going on with the “tremendous amount of increase” in autism rates.

Trump commented at a White House meeting with teachers after the principal of a Northern Virginia special education center said her school had shifted its population to accommodate more students with autism.

Trump asked whether she had any idea what’s going on with autism rates and told her “maybe we can do something.”

The principal said that 1 in 66 kids are diagnosed with autism, figures that are in line with the most recent government report on the matter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last March that about 1 in 68 school-aged children have autism or related disorders — about the same as in 2014.


11:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump says America’s children will be the winners with Betsy DeVos as education secretary.

Trump congratulated DeVos at a White House “listening session” with people who have taught in public and private school, and others who home-school their kids.

DeVos became education secretary after Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote on her nomination in the Senate. Pence is also president of the Senate.

DeVos is a wealthy Republican operative and promoter of charter and private schools. Critics say she’s too inexperienced to oversee the public school system.

Trump says DeVos went through a “very tough trial and a very unfair trial” and won.

Trump briefly questioned a woman who said her students include those with autism, telling her “maybe we can do something” about autism rates.


11 a.m.

The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate says Election Day is a day that will live in “cyber infamy.”

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois is referring to the intelligence community assessment that Russia meddled in the Nov. 8 election to help Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Durbin said on the Senate floor Tuesday that the resignation of Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, shows the need to examine the role that Russia has played in the election and the contacts that occurred with Russia as the Obama administration imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Democrats are pressing for a special select committee to investigate. Republicans maintain that the existing congressional panels on the Hill can handle the probe.


10:35 a.m.

Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump made the “right decision” to ask for the resignation of Michael Flynn, who is out as national security adviser.

The Wisconsin Republican told reporters on Tuesday that you cannot have the national security adviser misleading Vice President Mike Pence and others in the administration. Flynn resigned Monday night.

Ryan also defended Trump’s conferring with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on decisions with national security implications at the Mar-a-Lago resort.

Ryan said it was his understanding that no classified information was discussed.


10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the “real story” is the “illegal leaks” coming out of Washington.

The tweet early Tuesday is Trump’s first public comments since his national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, resigned because of conversations he had with a Russian diplomat.

Flynn apologized for giving Vice President Mike Pence and others “incomplete information” about his calls with Russia’s Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (KEE-slee-ack), and whether Flynn addressed U.S. sanctions before Trump’s inauguration. Doing so breaks diplomatic protocol and potentially the law.

Trump tweeted, “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?”

North Korea tested a ballistic missile over the weekend while Trump was at his Florida resort hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


9:50 a.m.

Democrats say they want an investigation into President Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia, including when Trump learned that his national security adviser had discussed U.S. sanctions with a Russian diplomat.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the “the American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia’s financial, personal and political grip on President Trump and what that means for our national security.”

At issue is whether Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, broke diplomatic protocol and potentially the law by discussing U.S. sanctions with Moscow before Trump’s inauguration. The White House says Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of the discussions.

California Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, says he wants to know whether Flynn was acting on Trump’s behalf.


7:20 a.m.

A top aide to President Donald Trump says Michael Flynn resigned as national security adviser because he misled the vice president.

Kellyanne Conway tells NBC’s “Today” show that “the situation became unsustainable.”

Late last month, the Justice Department warned the White House that Flynn could be in a compromised position because of contradictions between the public depictions of U.S. phone calls with foreign officials and what intelligence officials knew to be true based on recordings of the conversations.

On Monday, Conway said Flynn enjoys “the full confidence of the president.” On Tuesday, she said it was true Trump was “loyal” to Flynn. But, she added, “Misleading the vice president really was the key here.”


3 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned following reports he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia. His departure upends Trump’s senior team after less than a month in office.

In a resignation letter, Flynn said he gave Vice President Mike Pence and others “incomplete information” about his calls with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. The vice president, apparently relying on information from Flynn, initially said the national security adviser had not discussed sanctions with the Russian envoy, though Flynn later conceded the issue may have come up.

Trump named retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg as the acting national security adviser. Kellogg had previously been appointed the National Security Council chief of staff and advised Trump during the campaign. Trump is also considering former CIA Director David Petraeus and Vice Admiral Robert Harward, a U.S. Navy SEAL, for the post, according to a senior administration official.

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