Embattled National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned from his post Monday night, a few short weeks after the Justice Department informed the White House that it believed he could be subjected to blackmail.
Flynn's resignation was announced late Monday night following news he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other senior White House officials about information he shared with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Intelligence organisations have also come under increased pressure to reveal more about the Trump team's contact with Russian Federation from Democrats in Congress. Commenting on his resignation, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said during a press briefing: "The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances is what led the president to ask General Flynn for his resignation".
Flynn's resignation came after it was reported that the Justice Department warned the White House weeks ago that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail for contacts with Russian officials before Trump took power on January 20.
Yates and others were concerned that Flynn had been in contact with a Russian diplomat through texts and calls and discussed sanctions against the country because of its interference with the 2016 election through hacking.
"Russia is a ruse", he said.
Such conversations would breach diplomatic protocol and possibly violate the Logan Act, a law aimed at keeping private citizens from conducting USA diplomacy.
However, the second official said, Flynn's departure could also reinforce the power of presidential aides Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, whom he described as already having the president's ear.
Kellogg convened a brief meeting of the National Security Council staff Tuesday morning and urged them to continue with business as usual.
Mr Roberts added that General Flynn he was "100 per cent sure" of the content of the conversations and recalled the details to the White House Counsel's office, which then told Mr Trump.
A US official told The Associated Press that Flynn was in frequent contact with Kislyak on the day the Obama administration slapped sanctions on Russian Federation for election-related hacking, as well as at other times during the transition. Apart from Petraeus, Vice Admiral Bob Harward and Kellogg are also being considered for the post, reported CNBC.
Trump called Flynn a "fine person" at a news conference Thursday.
Just six days into his presidency, Trump was informed his national security adviser had misled his vice president about contacts with Russian Federation.