2. SOUNDBITE (English) Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary:
"We have been reviewing and evaluating this issue with respect to General Flynn on a daily basis for a few weeks, trying to ascertain the truth. We got to a point not based on a legal issue, but based on a trust issue with the level of trust between the President and General Flynn had eroded to the point where he felt he had to make a change. The President was very concerned that General Flynn had misled the Vice President and others. He was also concerned in light of sensitive subjects dealt with in that position on National Security advisers like China, North Korea and the Middle East, that the President must have complete and unwavering trust for the person in that position."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary:
"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 for General Flynn's resignation. Immediately after the Department of Justice notified the White House Counsel of the situation, the White House Counsel briefed the President and a small group of his senior advisers. The White House Counsel reviewed and determined that there is not an illegal issue, but rather a trust issue."
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary:
"During this process its important to note that the President did not have his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who he trust immensely, approved by the Senate. When the President heard the information presented by the White House Counsel, he instinctively thought that the General Flynn did not do anything wrong and the White House Counsel's review corroborated that. It is not ordinary for an incoming National Security Adviser to speak with his counterparts about the issues of concern to them, in fact he spoke with over 30 of his counterparts throughout the transition."
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary:
"The issue here is the President got to the point where General Flynn, misleading the Vice President and others or the possibility he had forgotten critical details of this important conversation, had created a critical mass and an unsustainable situation. That is why the President decided to ask for his resignation and he got it."
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary:
"The irony of this entire situation is that the President has been incredibly tough on Russia, he continues to raise the issue of Crimea, which the previous administration allowed to be seized by Russia. His ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Hailey stood before the UN Security Council on her first day and strongly denounced the Russian occupation of Crimea."
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary:
"President Trump has made it very clear he expects the Russian government to de-escalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea. At the same time, he fully expects to and wants to be able to get along with Russia, unlike previous administrations, so that we can solve many problems together facing the world such as the threat of ISIS and terrorism. The president is currently evaluating a group of very strong candidates that will be considered to fill the national security adviser position permanently and is confident in the ability of General Kellogg, a decorated and distinguished veteran of the United States Army, until that person is ultimately chosen."
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 Department of Justice flagged the phone call.
Spicer says Trump then determined the problem was one of trust, not a legal issue.