Matt Lauer and Kellyanne Conway went head-to-head on TODAY Tuesday.
President Donald Trump’s counselor appeared on the NBC morning show to discuss former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned Monday night over conversations he allegedly had with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Conway said “the key” to Flynn’s resignation was the fact that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about a phone call about easing Obama’s sanctions on Russia before Trump was inaugurated.
“You’re saying that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but the White House knew about that last month when the Justice Department warned the White House that [General Flynn] had not been completely honest in characterizing that conversation with the Russian ambassador,” said Lauer. “They even went further to say that as a result of that dishonesty, he was at risk for blackmailing by the Russians.”
“That’s one characterization,” Conway replied. “But the fact is that General Flynn continued in that position, was in the presidential daily briefings, was part of the leader calls as recently as yesterday, was there for the prime minister’s visit from Canada yesterday. As time wore on, obviously the situation had become unsustainable.”
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“Kellyanne, that makes no sense,” said Lauer, again pointing out how the White House was warned that Flynn had mischaracterized the call and was open to blackmail a month ago. “At that moment, he still had the complete trust of the president?”
Conway pivoted, mentioning what comes next. “Matt, I’m telling you what the president has said, which is that he’s accepted General Flynn’s resignation and that he wishes him well and that we’re moving on,” said Conway, who mentioned retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, Gen. David Petraeus, and former Vice Admiral Bob Harward are being considered for the position.
The remainder of the conversation continued in a similar circle, with Lauer asking how Flynn had the president’s confidence despite the Justice Department’s findings and Conway reiterating that Flynn resigned because he misled Pence and that the situation has become “unsustainable.”
Watch the entire clip above.