Mike Pence told about Flynn warning two weeks after Trump, White House

The White House kept Vice President Mike Pence in the dark for weeks about the warning it had gotten about national security adviser Michael Flynn from the Justice Department, Pence's press secretary said Tuesday.

Pence did not find out until Feb. 9, according to Marc Lotter. Trump was first informed about the Justice Department's concerns regarding Flynn on Jan. 26, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at Tuesday's daily press briefing.

Flynn's actions as President Donald Trump's short-lived national security adviser are under scrutiny after he resigned Monday night over phone calls he shared with Russia's ambassador to the United States in December — before Trump took office. Among the topics discussed included U.S. sanctions imposed by the Obama administration against Moscow for its alleged role in the 2016 presidential election.

RELATED: Reaction to Flynn's resignation

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Michael Flynn has resigned as Trump's national security adviser. KEEP SHOWING UP. Our resistance is working! #WhyIResist
Im sad #MichaelFlynn resigned but at the end President Trump did what he had to do and thats says everything.
Flynn's resignation CANNOT be end of the story. Who talked to who? When? Who knew? When? How far up did it go? How much of dossier true?
Well, not even a month in and the first resignation due to scandal, and I doubt it'll be the last.#MICHAELFLYNN
#Flynngate doesn't bode well for @seanspicer. At all. https://t.co/czu8yerodG
If @POTUS knew of #MichaelFlynn and #Russia, then we are a country in crisis now.
Brian Williams goes there: "What did [Trump] know and when did he know it?" #flynn
Dear Mike Flynn & Mike Flynn Jr., What goes around COMETS around. And given your pizza obsession... https://t.co/rmyO7wyJKX xo Philippe
However welcomed General Flynn's resignation is, remember that President Trump's Russia connections and intentions… https://t.co/Trc2oMXDor
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The date the vice president knew is significant because it is when the administration became aware that the Washington Post was about to publish a heavily-sourced story that confirmed Flynn and the Russian ambassador discussed sanctions, despite public denials from Flynn and other incoming senior administration officials including Pence, then the vice president-elect.

Flynn's departure — so far the most high-profile of Trump's senior team — comes after the White House said he misled Pence and other senior administration officials about information he shared with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn had claimed that he had no substantial communication with Kislyak, which Pence later repeated to various news outlets.

In his resignation letter, Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, said "the fast pace of events" was to blame for his inadvertently briefing Pence and others with "incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador."

Related: A Timeline of Mike Flynn's Rise and Fall and the Russia Call

The Washington Post reported Monday that the Justice Department, led by then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, informed the White House last month that Flynn was not entirely forthcoming about the calls or their substance — opening him up to the possibility of blackmail by the Kremlin.

Yates also reportedly was concerned that Flynn could have violated the Logan Act of 1799, a rarely used law that bars unauthorized U.S. citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. However, a senior intelligence official told NBC News last week that there had been no finding that Flynn acted illegally.

Trump fired Yates on Jan. 30 after she directed Justice Department lawyers not to defend the president's executive order on immigration.

RELATED: Mike Pence through the years

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Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., Derek Karachner, Ian Slatter, Molly Jurmu, Mark Ahearn.

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Mike Pence, R-Ind., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., talk during the markup of the bill which would establish the Department of Homeland Security.

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(L-R) Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), attorney Floyd Abrams, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and attorney Kenneth Starr speak to reporters in the U.S. Supreme Court Plaza in Washington, D.C., September 8, 2003. Attorneys made arguments during a special session of the Supreme Court about the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign financing reform law.

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Rep. Mike Pence, new head of the Republican conservative caucus, taken in his Hill office. Includes a bust of Ronald Reagan.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) and Indiana Governor Mike Pence (L) wave to the crowd before addressing the crowd during a campaign stop at the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Indiana, July 12, 2016.

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UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 07: Mike Pence, R-Ind.

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MEET THE PRESS

Pictured: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) left, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010.

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U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence arrives at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 13, 2016.

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President-elect Donald Trump takes the stage with Vice President-elect Mike Pence during a rally in Orlando, Fla., on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.

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Vice President-elect Mike Pence arrives at Trump Tower on December 15, 2016 in New York City. President-Elect Donald Trump continues to hold meetings with potential members of his cabinet at his office.

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Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Chrysler Group LLC and Fiat SpA, left, speaks with Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, at the Chrysler Group transmission plant in Kokomo, Indiana, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Chrysler Group LLC, the automaker majority owned by Fiat SpA, will invest about $374 million and add 1,250 jobs at Indiana factories to boost output of eight-and nine-speed transmissions.

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UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Mike Pence--IND

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Reps. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., left, and Mike Pence, R-Ind, share a laugh at a rally to support a House resolution, scheduled for a vote Thursday, that would require a list of earmarks and the names of lawmakers sponsoring them to be contained in committee and conference reports. The rally took place on Cannon Terrace.

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U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) speaks during a rally on Capitol Hill April 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), thought to be a contender for the 2012 presidential race, also spoke at the rally held on Capitol Hill by Americans for Prosperity in support of spending cuts.

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House Budget chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., speaks with Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., as they arrive for a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Monday, July 25, 2011.

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence is seen at the 2015 IPL 500 Festival Parade on May 23, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) while Vice President Mike Pence (C) looks on during a luncheon at the Congress of Tomorrow Republican Member Retreat January 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Congressional Republicans are gathering for three days to plan their 2017 legislative agenda.

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Flynn's calls with the Russian ambassador were leaked in a Jan. 12 op-ed in The Post.

Spicer said Tuesday the White House counsel undertook an "exhaustive review" and determined that Flynn hadn't violated any laws, but he still weighed whether Flynn could remain effective.

"We got to a point not based on a legal issue, but based on a trust issue, with the level of trust between the president and General Flynn had eroded to a point where [Trump] felt he had to make a change," Spicer said. "The president was very concerned that General Flynn had misled the vice president and others."

Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway also tried to distance the administration from Flynn on Tuesday morning, saying on TODAY that he was at fault after providing incomplete information and not being able to recall what occurred on his phone calls.

She was pressed repeatedly on why Flynn was left in his post — and continued to retain the president's trust — even after the Justice Department sounded an alarm.

"That's one characterization," Conway said. "But the fact is that General Flynn continued in that position and was in the presidential daily briefings, was part of the leader calls as recently as [Monday] ... and as time wore on, obviously the situation had become unsustainable."

Flynn has been replaced by retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg as acting national security adviser.

Editor's note: The original version of this story said the Trump administration knew about the DOJ warning on Flynn for 11 days before Pence learned of it. It is 15 days.

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