| WEST PALM BEACH, Fla./BRUSSELS
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla./BRUSSELS Feb 20 U.S.
President Donald Trump considered his options for a new
national security adviser on Monday as his vice president, Mike
Pence, said he had been disappointed by the actions of the man
ousted from the job and supported his dismissal.
Trump asked for Michael Flynn's resignation on Feb. 13 after
reports emerged that the retired lieutenant general misled
Pence about having spoken to Russia's ambassador about U.S.
sanctions before Trump's inauguration.
The ouster, coming so early in Trump's administration, was
another upset in a White House that has been battered by
miscues, including the controversial roll-out of a travel ban on
people from seven Muslim-majority countries, since the
Republican president took office on Jan. 20.
"I was disappointed to learn that the facts that have been
conveyed to me by General Flynn were inaccurate," Pence told
reporters during a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels.
Trump's call for Flynn to go "was the proper decision, it
was handled properly and in a timely way," he said.
Trump, spending the weekend in West Palm Beach, Florida,
interviewed four finalists to replace Flynn on Sunday and may
meet with some of them again on Monday, White House spokeswoman
Sarah Sanders told reporters on Sunday.
Those interviewed were acting adviser Keith Kellogg, former
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, Lieutenant
General H.R. McMaster and Lieutenant General Robert Caslen.
During his Brussels trip, Pence assured the European Union
that the Trump administration would develop the bloc's
cooperation in trade and security and backed the EU as a partner
in its own right, seeking to soothe anxiety prompted by Trump's
remarks a month ago renewing his endorsement of Brexit and
suggesting that others might follow Britain out of the EU.
At the news conference, Pence also defended Trump's repeated
and strong criticisms of the news media. In a Twitter message on
Saturday, Trump called the media “the enemy of the American
"The president and I both strongly support a free and
independent press but you can anticipate that the president and
all of us will continue to call out the media when they play
fast and loose with the facts," Pence said.
Trump himself has been continually cited by various media
for misstating facts. For instance, in his news conference last
week Trump said his margin of victory in the Electoral College
in November was the largest ever since fellow Republican Ronald
Reagan was elected in 1980 and 1984.
In fact, however, Democratic President Barack Obama, in both
of his victories, and Republican President George H.W. Bush drew
more electoral votes than did Trump.
(Additional reporting by Robin Emmott, Robert-Jan Bartunek,
Alastair Macdonald and Gabriela Baczynska in Brussels; Writing
by Frances Kerry; Editing by Leslie Adler)