White House officials have confirmed National Security Council is now in “holding pattern” post the resignation of Michael Flynn. There is now confusion among his aides whether they will put down their papers as well and follow their one-time boss. This was a tough decision. Flynn intentionally misled Vice President Pence and also a number of top staffs in the White House concerning his interactions with Russian ambassador. He resigned from his post on the night of February 13.
Kellogg and KT McFarland, the former deputy to Flynn and Tom Bossert, the Homeland Security adviser, tried to quell any concerns fast flying around Flynn’s reservation. The issue of job security at the organization was also discussed.
Many National Security Council personnel are disconcerted by Flynn’s departure. They came into the White House only a few days before. The resignation of the National Security Adviser has pushed his subordinates into discord. The group was supposed to implement and also coordinate not only the national security objectives but also put in place the foreign policy as envisaged by the President.
Flynn confessed to his underhand activity in the letter he submitted for resignation. He said that he had inadvertently briefed Pence and relevant others with insufficient information related to phone calls with the Ambassador of Russia.
Uncertainty and succession
However, a high-level meeting, which had Keith Kellogg, the acting NSA, as a participant, was reportedly concluded with Kellogg asking the employees to continue to hold their respective jobs and do their assigned duties. Many employees stayed in their offices late in the night to see how things turned out for their once-but-not-now boss. There were concerns about deep changes after Flynn will be completely shunted out.
At the center of the storm is KT McFarland, the once deputy of Flynn. According to White House officials in the know, the deputy was not asked to resign. This, however, can change once a new person is appointed to the national security advisor post. It is believed that three names are already thrown into the ring: Lt. General Keith Kellogg, presently working as the acting NSA, Retired General David Petraeus and Bob Harward, the former Vice-Admiral. If one believes the rumors, then Harward is Flynn’s likely successor. The latter is an ex-navy SEAL. He was also a deputy commander of the US Central Command during the Barack Obama administration.