US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has resigned over allegations he discussed the lifting of US sanctions with Russia before Donald Trump became president.

Flynn is reported to have misled officials over the content of his call with the Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak before he was appointed as National Security Adviser. Vice-President Mike Pence denied the allegations publicly on Flynn’s behalf.

It is illegal for private citizens to conduct diplomacy in the US.

In his letter of resignation, Flynn said he had “inadvertently briefed the vice-president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador” late last year.

Previously, the White House was warned about Flynn’s communication with Russian officials, and reportedly said he was vulnerable to blackmail. Trump has already fired the person who delivered the warning, then-acting attorney general Sally Yates, for opposing his controversial “Muslim ban”.

The White House has appointed Lt Gen Joseph Keith Kellogg as an interim replacement for the post.

The resignation comes amid continued allegations of close ties between the Trump administration and Moscow, after opposition research that alleged Putin held compromising information on the president was leaked online.

Senior Democrats have demanded a classified briefing to Congress on Flynn’s actions by the Justice Department and the FBI, and said the adviser’s resignation would not end the questions about ties between the Trump administration and the Kremlin.

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