Following a tumultuous week for President Donald Trump, a new report details how former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn helped stop a military action that Turkey opposed after he was paid $500,000 from the Turkish government.
According to The Miami Herald, a decision to retake the Islamic State’s capital of Raqqa with Syrian Kurdish forces, which the Pentagon considered the U.S.’s most reliable military partners in the region, was put on hold 10 days following Trump’s inauguration.
Flynn, who was a registered foreign agent, was dismissed by the Trump Administration 24 days after the election following revelations that the retired US Army Lt. General received “considerable cash” from foreign governments and lied to Vice President Mike Pence regarding a call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before his appointment to the key White House position.
Trump eventually would approve the Raqqa plan, but not until weeks after Flynn had been fired.
Murmurs from some members of Congress are now circulating that Flynn was acting on behalf of a foreign nation when making a military decision. According to reports, in some congressional private conversations the word “treason” was used to describe Flynn’s intervention.
With the renewed focus on getting to the bottom of Flynn’s actions, the Trump administration continues to downplay that they were the repeatedly warned by former acting Attorney General Sally Yates that Flynn might be subject to Russian blackmail.
“This was a serious compromise situation that the Russians had real leverage,” Yates said in an interview with CNN.
“Blackmail, by an influential military official, that has real ramifications for global threat,” said Senate Intelligence Committee member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. “So this is not about a policy implication, this is about the national security adviser being vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.”
In 2015, Flynn was paid more than $33,000 to speak at a gala dinner in Moscow where he was seated next to President Vladimir Putin. As a retired U.S. military officer, Flynn is required to seek permission to travel and to receive payment from a foreign entity, something the State Department and the Pentagon told Congress he did not do, according to the Herald.
Featured image via Mike Licht