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Posted: February 14, 2017

Michael Flynn: A timeline of events

By Debbie Lord

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Updated on Nov. 3, 2017

Michael Flynn resigned his position of national security adviser on Feb. 13 in the wake of reports that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his contacts with Russia.

After days of denying the reports, then eventually saying that he was not sure if he discussed sanctions against Russia with Russian officials, Flynn finally said that discussions of sanctions "may have come up" during several calls with the Russian ambassador. The calls were made before Donald Trump was sworn in as president.

In April, the inspector general of the Department of Defense opened an investigation into whether Flynn reported money he received for a speaking appearance in Russia in 2015.

Flynn is alleged to have taken $45,000 for speaking at an engagement in Russia in 2015.

>>Michael Flynn being investigated by DOD; was warned in 2014 about taking foreign payments

When the investigation was opened, Rep. Elijah Cummings, (D-Maryland), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, released letters from the Defense Intelligence Agency – an agency Flynn once headed -- stating that they found no record that Flynn had sought permission to speak in Russia, nor had he reported income from that speech.

A U.S. official, which Flynn as a retired military officer would be considered, must both seek permission and report income derived from any activity with a foreign government. 

In 2014, Flynn reportedly received a warning from the DIA about receiving payments from foreign governments without congressional approval.

On Monday (Oct. 30) special counsel Robert Mueller announced indictments against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and associate Rick Gates on charges of conspiracy against the United States, being an unregistered foreign agent, money laundering, and failing to file reports of foreign bank and accounts.

Earlier in the month, Campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos pled guilty to lying to the FBI as part of a cooperation agreement with Mueller. Papadopoulos was arrested in July.

Here’s a timeline of events of Flynn’s tenure as national security adviser and beyond:

Nov. 18, 2016 – Trump announces that Flynn has been offered the post of national security adviser. Flynn accepts the job.

Dec. 28, 2016 – Flynn and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, exchange Christmas text messages by cellphone.

Dec. 29, 2016 – President Barack Obama announces sanctions against Russia for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. He orders 35 Russian diplomats out of the country.

Dec. 29, 2016 – On the same day, Flynn calls the Russian ambassador. The New York Times reports that Flynn, according to officials who saw a transcript of the wiretapped conversation between Flynn and Kislyak, discussed the sanctions that the Obama administration had imposed on Russia.

Jan. 13, 2017 – The Wall Street Journal reports, for the first time, Flynn's talks with the Russian ambassador.

Jan. 14, 2017 – According to Pence, Flynn tells him that he and Kislyak did not talk about Russian sanctions.

Jan. 15, 2017 – Pence appears on “Fox News Sunday” and says that Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador “were not in any way related to the new U.S. sanctions against Russia or the expulsion of diplomats.”

Jan. 20, 2017 – Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

Jan. 22, 2017 – The Wall Street Journal reports that Flynn is under investigation by U.S. counterintelligence for the phone calls to the Russian ambassador.

Late January: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informs the White House counsel of Flynn's misleading statements.

Feb. 8, 2017 – Flynn, in an interview with the Washington Post, denies discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador

Feb. 9, 2017 -- Flynn's spokesman tells the Washington Post that Flynn "indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up."

Feb. 10, 2017 – Trump, on the way to Mar-a-Lago, tells reporters aboard Air Force One he had not seen the reports about Flynn. "I don't know about that," he says. "I haven't seen it.”

Feb. 11/12, 2017 – Flynn stays the weekend at Mar-a-Lago. 

Feb. 12, 2017 – Pence says on CBS that he spoke to Flynn about the phone call and the conversation had "nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions.” 

Feb. 13, 2017 – White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says around 5 p.m. that the administration has “full confidence” in Flynn. Minutes later, Sean Spicer, press spokesman for the White House, issues a statement that reads: “The president is evaluating the situation. He's speaking to the vice president relative to the conversation the vice president had with Gen. Flynn, and also speaking to various other people about what he considers the single most important subject there is: our national security.” The Washington Post reports at 8 p.m.  that the Justice Department told White House officials that Flynn “mischaracterized his communications."

Feb. 13, 2017 – Flynn resigns his position of national security adviser just before 11 p.m.

“Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador,” Flynn wrote in his resignation letter. “I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology.

“I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way."

Feb. 13, 2017 – Lt. Gen. Joseph K. Kellogg Jr. is named acting national security adviser just after 11 p.m. 

Feb. 20, 2017 – Gen. H.R. McMaster is sworn in as national security adviser.

Oct. 5, 2017 – Papadopoulos pleads guilty to lying to the FBI as part of a cooperation agreement with Mueller.

Oct. 30, 2017 – Mueller’s office indicts Manafort and associate Gates on charges of conspiracy against the United States, being an unregistered foreign agent, money laundering, and seven counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. 

Dec. 1, 2017 – Flynn is indicted on charges he lied to the FBI. He pleaded guilty to the charges. 

Sources: New York Times; Washington Post; BBC, The Associated Press


National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Resigns

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Resigns

Associated Press

Flynn, fired once by a president, now resigns to another

Associated Press

Flynn, fired once by a president, now resigns to another

FILE- In this Nov. 17, 2016, file photo, retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn gestures as he arrives with his son Michael G. Flynn, left, at Trump Tower in New York. Flynn was fired by one American commander-in-chief for insubordination, Now he may removed by another. Flynn resigned as President Donald Trump's national security adviser Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

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