(Top photo: Michael Flynn. Photo: Carolyn Kaster AP/Press Association Images)
I know it's hard to process, all this news coming out of America.
Still, it's worth trying to get your head around the fact that Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's National Security Adviser, has just resigned following allegations he spoke to the Kremlin about lifting sanctions against Russia late last year. It is illegal for private citizens to conduct US diplomacy, and Flynn is accused of having the conversation before Donald Trump became president and appointed him to the National Security Adviser role.
Flynn reportedly told the Russian ambassador, Sergei Kisilyak, that Obama was Russia's adversary, and made repeated claims that relations under the Trump administration would be warmer. Flynn is also said to have misled then-Vice President Elect Mike Pence and other White House officials about the conversation, saying he only spoke to Kisilyak to exchange Christmas greetings.
Flynn alludes to this in his resignation letter, writing that he had "inadvertently briefed the vice-president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador".
Further leaks suggest that Flynn may have had conversations with Kisilyak before Trump was even elected, raising questions around whether or not the Trump administration knew about Russian attempts to hack the election. Flynn is also being investigated by the US Army for receiving money in 2015 for a speaking engagement in Moscow. The Department of Justice warned The White House last month that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
Many Russian politicians have rushed to defend Flynn. Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Russian foreign affairs committee, accused the US government of something "worse" than paranoia.
So there you go: just another day of this really bad 1980s spy film we're all living in.