President Donald Trump must now fill a vital national security post after the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Flynn stepped down late Monday, ending days of speculation about his fate following reports that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia.
According to Washington Examiner, President Trump and his top advisers will talk with retired Gen. David Petraeus this week as a possible replacement for National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, according to a report.
Trump regularly referenced Petraeus during his campaign speeches last year, telling guests at rallies that the former general was punished more severely for leaking classified information to his mistress than former State Sec. Hillary Clinton was reprimanded for setting up a private email server.
Trump had briefly considered Petraeus for secretary of state. He passed over him due to the earlier incident and the problems that might create with confirmation in the Senate, a hurdle which is not in the way for national security advisor.
Flynn has become a problem for the White House in recent days after reports broke about contacts with Russia before the inauguration. The Justice Department alerted the White House about the contact, according to the Associated Press. Flynn also apparently misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.
AP sources: Justice Department alerted Trump administration about Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russia.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 14, 2017
While congressional Democrats – led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer – have called for an independent investigation into Flynn’s conversations with Russia’s ambassador, including possibly discussing the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Moscow, Trump’s senior advisers are said to be considering who to appoint to Flynn’s position if he is fired.
“They are trying to figure out the solution to Flynn right now,” a source close to the White House told Politico. “The problem is they don’t have it yet. They need to get a solution. You can’t have a firing without an immediate replacement. You need a plan.”
The administration is also considering former President George W. Bush’s former national security advisor Stephen Hadley and former national security aide Tom Bossert – who oversees cybersecurity currently in the administration. Adm. James Stavridis, the dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts is also being floated for the job.
Rep. Mike Coffmann, R-Col., called on Monday evening for Flynn to “step down immediately” if he “purposely misled” the administration on Russia.