Many continuously speculate President Trump’s administration for dubious behavior, and new records show that may be a sound judgment.
Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, resigned last month after speculation that he regularly contacted Russian officials during the campaign. While the administration denied any contact with Russia’s ambassador, which is illegal for civilians to do, records indicate otherwise.
As it turns out, Flynn not only had contact with Russia’s ambassador, but Russia-related entities also paid him nearly $68,000 in fees and expenses. More than $45,000 of those payments came from the television network RT, which the Russian government runs. The U.S. government reports that RT is part of a Russian-led propaganda network, supported by Kremlin, that focuses on emphasizing a pro-Russia perspective. Officials have warned against networking with the business since before Flynn entered the private sector.
Officials made the payment after Flynn traveled to Moscow in December 2015. Flynn admitted that RT paid for the trip, during which he networked with President Vladimir Putin.
While this was before the official campaign, federal officials are looking at under a new light after a new discovery.
It turns out that the Russian cyber security firm, Kaspersky Lab, paid Flynn $11,250 that year, as well. Additionally, a U.S. air cargo company owned by a Russian businessman paid him another $11,250. Both entities said the payments were for speeches Flynn provided. However, the timing of the discovery is questionable, as Russia arrested two Kaspersky workers this year for an undisclosed international hacking case.
Rep. Elijah Cummings released (D-Maryland) released the new documents. He sent the findings in a letter to President Trump, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and FBI Director James Comey. In the letter, he asked if Flynn’s payments violated military rules. Furthermore, he requested to see the documents Flynn filed to get security clearance to work in the White House.
“I cannot recall any time in our nation’s history when the President selected, as his National Security Advisor, someone who violated the Constitution by accepting tens of thousands of dollars from an agent of a global adversary that attacked our democracy,” Cummings said.
Flynn under scrutiny
Flynn’s relations with Russia made him forcefully resign from his government position 24 days after taking office. Reportedly, he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his relationship with the Russian ambassador.
Additionally, Flynn recently filed paperwork stating he was a foreign agent while he was also the top adviser for Trump’s campaign. During that time, a Dutch company hired Flynn’s business to work toward Turkish-related interests.
Price Floyd, Flynn’s spokesman, said Flynn joined a speakers bureau after leaving his job after stepping down from a government job in 2014. He was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
“What you are seeing is the result of that,” he explained. “These are speeches he made after leaving government.”