US President Donald Trump named Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. (Ret) as acting National Security Advisor following the resignation of Michael Flynn, the White House announced.
Michael Flynn had resigned over his alleged contacts with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, before Trump took office.
Earlier there were also reports that Justice Department warned the Trump administration last month that Flynn misled administration officials regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, and was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians, a person familiar with the matter said.
General Kellogg is a veteran with US Army who has served the country from 1967 to 2003 and even went overseas twice during the Vietnam War, where he earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with “V” device and the Air Medal with “V” device.
Ahead of his retirement, Kellogg served as the director of the Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Directorate under the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In the resignation letter, Flynn refuted his alleged contacts with the Russian Ambassador.
The letter reads as:
In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors. These calls were to facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships between the President, his advisors and foreign leaders. Such calls are standard practice in any transition of this magnitude.
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. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.
Throughout my over thirty three years of honorable military service, and my tenure as the National Security Advisor, I have always performed my duties with the utmost of integrity and honesty to those I have served, to include the President of the United States.
I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way.
I am also extremely honored to have served President Trump, who in just three weeks, has reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America’s leadership position in the world.
As I step away once again from serving my nation in this current capacity, I wish to thank President Trump for his personal loyalty, the friendship of those who I worked with throughout the hard fought campaign, the challenging period of transition, and during the early days of his presidency.
I know with the strong leadership of President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and the superb team they are assembling, this team will go down in history as one of the greatest presidencies in U.S. history, and I firmly believe the American people will be well served as they all work together to help Make America Great Again.