Sean Spicer
Sean Spicer Reuters

President Donald Trump asked National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to resign because of an “erosion of trust” and not because Flynn broke any laws, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday.

Spicer told reporters that Trump was told several weeks ago that Flynn was not truthful in disclosing his pre-inauguration conversations with the Russian ambassador, actions which ultimately led to that "erosion of trust".

"The evolving, and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation in a series of other questionable instances is what led the president to ask for General Flynn's resignation," Spicer said, according to NBC News.

"Immediately after the Department of Justice notified the White House Counsel of this situation, the White House counsel briefed the president and a small group of senior advisers," added Spicer, who did not elaborate on what those "other questionable instances" that led to Flynn's dismissal were.

Flynn resigned late Monday evening amid reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, which included discussion of U.S. sanctions.

Flynn's departure came on the heels of revelations that the Justice Department had informed the White House that he could be subject to blackmail from Russia.

Asked Tuesday if Trump instructed Flynn to discuss sanctions during the transition, Spicer said "absolutely not."

Spicer made clear that the White House first dispensed with the legal side of the situation, with White House counsel finding that Flynn had not done anything legally wrong in his conversations.

"It was not an issue of law, it was an issue of trust," he stressed.

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