On Thursday, Lt. Gen Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former National Security advisor, admitted via a filing with the Department of Justice that he was a lobbyist for the Muslim country of Turkey.
The filing, ostensibly done by a lawyer on his behalf, admits that he was contracted to do work on behalf of the Turkish government, namely President Recep Tayyip Erodogan.
Flynn used to head up what’s the equivalent of the CIA but for the military known as the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), I’ve done a lot of work at the DIA previously and know the facility well, it sits across the Potomac river on Joint Base Acacostia-Bolling.
Ok, here’s the problem with the entire situation. Flynn lobbied for the Turkish government between August and November 2016, via his company Flynn Intel Group Inc., he was paid at least $530,000.
We don’t know if he disclosed this to then candidate Trump followed by President-Elect Trump and ultimately President Trump. The fact that he lobbied so late for a foreign government is a black eye for him and the Trump presidency. For me it makes me wonder, “how did you not know about this,” and if you did “then it screams incompetence on an unprecedented scale.”
You’re also a former General grade officer and one who lead the militaries most secretive spy agency, once you donned the political cape on, you should have known better and the optics through which this type of action would be viewed. Why did you wait to file as a foreign agent after you were fired, instead of when you first began lobbying for the Turkish Government?
Because of this payment, we can now go back and look at what you espoused on an op-ed you wrote for the Hill in which you stated “The US media is doing a bang-up job of reporting the Erdoğan government’s crackdown on dissidents, but it’s not putting it into perspective,” Flynn writes. “We must begin with understanding that Turkey is vital to U.S. interests.”
In particular, Flynn railed against the Obama administration for harboring Fethullah Gülen, a moderate Muslim cleric and intellectual from Turkey who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999. As my colleague Dylan Matthews writes, “Gülen preaches an inclusive brand of Sunni Islam that emphasizes cooperation and tolerance,” and his movement claims millions of followers in Turkey and around the world.
To summarize: A Trump campaign surrogate with substantial influence over the incoming president’s foreign policy views wrote an article parroting a conspiracy theory propagated by the Turkish government to justify a brutal and far-reaching crackdown on political dissent. And these latest revelations suggest that Flynn’s failure to be fully forthcoming about his ties to a foreign government didn’t stop with Russia.
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