A leading politics professor has claimed Donald Trump's administration knew Michael Flynn and his ties to Russia were "a smoking gun" ahead of his dismissal.
Following the resignation of the National Security Advisor on Monday night over his ties to Russia, the White House has come under increasing pressure to reveal the extent of its relationship with the country.
This follows the revelation that Donald Trump was aware of Flynn's links to Russia ahead of his dismissal, having reportedly been aware of the discussion he'd had with the Russian ambassador about sanctions.
Scott Lucas, International Politics professor at the University of Birmingham, said the divisions in the White House are the main reason why Flynn was not dismissed prior to the leak on Monday.
"Flynn is one of a number of Trump administration officials suspected of having ties to Russia, and it's beyond doubt the Russians have been interfering in US domestic politics.
"In the White House, there’s a division within the administration between the fire breathers and the pragmatists.
"The reason why Trump didn’t act from late January is because the fire breathers wanted to keep Flynn in the administration.
"People knew all along this could be a smoking gun. We should welcome stability in foreign relations, that’s not the question, but if you want it, you do it through proper diplomacy.
"You don’t do it via a president with an affinity for Vladimir Putin."