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GOP lawmaker speculates Republicans are silent on Flynn because 'it's Valentine's Day

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

If Republicans are silent on former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn's resignation Tuesday morning, it's probably because it's Valentine's Day — and "they're having breakfast with their wives," according to Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.).

Flynn, already a controversial presence in President Donald Trump's administration, resigned late Monday night following reports that he misled senior White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about past conversations with Russia.

CNN host Chris Cuomo noted Tuesday morning that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had not released statements about Flynn's resignation as of early Tuesday morning.

"When you have a man of Flynn's stature resign, and in his own letter saying that he misled, maybe even lied to other members of the White House, why is everybody so quiet," Cuomo asked Collins.

Collins responded, "Well, it's Valentine's Day, and I guess they're having breakfast with their wives."

"Really, all I can say is I'm sorry to see Gen. Flynn go," he continued. "I don't know the details of what transpired. I do know Gen. Flynn, and I know that he is very loyal to President Trump. I do know that he's a great American."

Collins added that "respected" Flynn's decision to step down from his position and hoped that "others would not dwell on the situation."

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) was harsher with his criticism Tuesday, saying during an interview with "Fox and Friends" that Flynn's "cover-up was worse than the crime." Kinzinger added that Flynn's resignation was an "honorable" decision.

Flynn's resignation letter, sent to reporters by the White House Monday night, said that he was "honored" to have served under Trump — who has already "reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America's leadership position in the world."

Flynn said:

In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors. These calls were to facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships between the President, his advisors and foreign leaders. Such calls are standard practice in any transition of this magnitude.

Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.

Trump has named retired Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg, Jr. as acting national security advisor.

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