President Trump's fourth week in office got off to a rough start with the resignation of his national security advisor. Michael Flynn resigned late Monday in the wake of revelations about conversations he had with a Russian official during the transition between the Obama and Trump administrations. Here's a look at what's happened so far:
- While Trump was dining with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., the world leaders got word of a ballistic missile test in North Korea. Photos of the men discussing the situation in the dining room left many wondering if cybersecurity procedures were in place.
- The leader of Hezbollah called Trump an “idiot.”
- Again with the (debunked) voter fraud claim. Trump’s senior policy advisor Stephen Miller said that “the noncitizen voting issue is pervasive and widespread,” but offered no evidence.
Monday, Feb. 13
- Mr. Unpopular. A new Gallup poll found that Trump’s approval rating has already dropped. (While we’re on the subject, take a look at our “Grade the president” project to see how people are judging his leadership.)
- Back to the immigration ban: The Trump administration will not take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court … yet.
- Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stopped by the White House for a joint-presser with Trump. There was a stark difference in their delivery, eh?
- Wall Street executive Steven Mnuchin is taking over as Treasury secretary. The Senate narrowly voted to confirm him 53 to 47.
- Kellyanne Conway said Trump has utmost confidence in Flynn after reports surfaced that the national security advisor had misled the White House administration on previous contact he’d had with a Russian diplomat. Hours later, Flynn resigned, which brings us to:
The Flynn controversy
- Nov. 18: Trump names Flynn as his choice for national security advisor. The decision was controversial from the start. Flynn had attended a lavish dinner in Moscow in 2015 at which he sat next to president Vladimir Putin and also received a speaking fee from a Russian television network that U.S. officials consider a propaganda outlet.
- Dec. 6: Trump's transition team cuts ties with Flynn’s son, who had spread false stories on Twitter.
- Dec. 29: The Obama administration imposes sanctions on Russia in retaliation for Russia's hacking of the Democratic National Committee in the summer. Flynn contacts Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times that day and the day before, including more than one telephone call.
- Dec. 30: Putin says he will not retaliate against the U.S. sanctions, surprising the Obama administration. Trump praises Putin.
- Early January: Intelligence officials, looking for clues to why Putin decided not to retaliate, discover Flynn's conversations with Kislyak, whose communications the U.S. government routinely monitors.
- Jan. 11: At a news conference, Trump denies that he has ties with Russia.
- Jan. 12: Washington Post columnist David Ignatius first reports on Flynn's contacts with Kislyak.
- Jan. 13: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer denies that Flynn and Kislyak discussed sanctions.
- Jan. 15: Vice President Mike Pence, in a television interview, denies that Flynn discussed sanctions.
- Jan. 20: Trump is inaugurated.
- Jan. 22: Flynn is sworn in as national security advisor.
- Jan. 26: Acting Atty. Gen. Sally Yates tells White House officials that Flynn and Kislyak had discussed the sanctions and that Flynn, having misled Pence and others, might be subject to Russian blackmail.
- Feb. 8: Flynn, responding to questions from the Washington Post, once again flatly denies any discussions with Kislyak about sanctions.
- Feb. 9: A spokesperson for Flynn retracts that denial, saying he does not remember talking about the sanctions, but "can't be 100% sure.”
- Feb. 10: Trump, asked by reporters on Air Force One, says he is not familiar with the Post report.
- Feb 10: White House officials say Flynn has called Pence to apologize for misleading him.
- Feb. 12 : White House official Stephen Miller, dispatched by the administration to appear on several Sunday TV interview programs, declines to say if Trump has confidence in Flynn.
- Feb. 13, about 4 p.m. EST: Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway says Flynn has Trump's full confidence.
- Feb. 13, about 5: p.m. EST: Spicer says Trump is "evaluating the situation."
- Feb. 13, about 9:30 p.m. EST: The Post and the New York Times disclose that Yates had warned the White House about Flynn's conversations.
- Feb. 13, 11 p.m.: White House announces Flynn's resignation. Officials say he chose to step down.
Tuesday, Feb. 14
- Don’t you love politics? Spicer says the White House has been investigating Flynn's conduct for more than two weeks and that he had been fired because of an "eroding level of trust."
- Several hours after Spicer's briefing, Pence's spokesman, Marc Lotter, says that the vice president "became aware of incomplete information that he’d received on Feb. 9 — last Thursday night — based on media accounts. He did an inquiry based on those media accounts."
- Kellyanne Conway is in hot water. The Office of Government Ethics recommends that the White House investigate and possibly discipline Trump’s counselor for telling people last week to buy from Ivanka Trump’s fashion line.
- Are you ready to rumble? Linda McMahon is. The Senate confirmed the former wrestling entertainment executive to lead the Small Business Administration.
Wednesday, Feb. 15
- Back to the Flynn saga. Trump blamed the media and leaks for Flynn’s dismissal from office. “Gen. Flynn is a wonderful man. I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media,” Trump said.
- And another one bites the dust. Amid growing opposition from Republicans, Trump’s pick for Labor secretary, Andy Puzder, withdrew his nomination just one day before his confirmation hearing.
- Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a joint news conference at the White House. Neither leader committed to a two-state solution for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, marking a major change from decades of U.S. policy.
Thursday, Feb. 16
- Now that’s the Trump we remember from the campaign trail. The president held his first solo news conference. At times, he was combative, aggrieved, funny and nostalgic. He also had his puzzling moments.
- Puzder is out and Alexander Acosta is in. Trump nominates a new Labor secretary. If confirmed, he would be the first Latino in Trump’s Cabinet.
- No, thank you. Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward turned down Trump’s offer to be his new national security advisor.
- The 9th Circuit Court’s latest word on the travel ban? Your move, Mr. President. They’re taking no further action while the White House prepares a new executive order that addresses the legal objections.
- Trump may show sympathy for ‘Dreamers,’ but his aides have quietly found ways to end protection for the hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
- More confusion on our Mideast policy: Contrary to Trump’s comments, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. said the U.S. “absolutely” supports a two-state solution.
Friday, Feb. 17
- Another win for Trump. The Senate confirmed former Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Conflicting information. The Associated Press reported that the Trump administration is considering a proposal to use as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up immigrants in the U.S. illegally. The White House denied it.
Grade the president
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11:15 a.m. Feb. 17: This article was updated with Thursday's and Friday's events.
1:30 p.m. Feb. 15: This article was updated with Wednesday's events.