One of the oddest twists in the Michael Flynn resignation saga: Donald Trump’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway, said just hours before Flynn resigned that the president had confidence in Flynn.
“Does he have the full confidence of the president? Yes, he does,” Conway said in a television interview on February 13.
She hedged the support slightly, saying that Flynn said he couldn’t recall what he said on the phone to the Russian ambassador. The vice president went out and repeated what Flynn told him, Conway said in the February 13 interview.
Then, within hours, Flynn was resigning as national security adviser and giving out a statement that apologized to Trump.
You can watch the Conway video above.
Trump, for his part, has limited his comments after the Flynn resignation to tweeting about leaks of information to the news media.
This comes after reports that then Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had advised the White House that Flynn could be compromised on the question of what he said to the Russian Ambassador on sanctions. The New York Times and Washington Post have reported that Flynn spoke to the ambassador about sanctions, despite previous denials from Flynn and VP Mike Pence.
That’s significant because the conversation occurred before Trump took the oath of office, and the day before Barack Obama issued sanctions against Russia.
On Twitter, people noted the close proximity between Conway’s statement and Flynn’s resignation.
Conway was later pressed by Matt Lauer about the Flynn matter after Flynn’s resignation. You can watch that exchange here. Lauer asked Conway how the Trump administration could have stood by Flynn for so long, even after the Justice Department reportedly warned that he was vulnerable to Russian blackmail. He said it “makes no sense” how Flynn could have retained the White House’s trust after that point.