President Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn was paid by Russian companies while still having a top secret clearance according to new documents obtained by Congress.
The documents show that Flynn was paid $45,386 by the Russia state-owned RT network, in addition to receiving another $11,250 each by a Russian air cargo and Russian cyber security company. Flynn had previously stated that he received no funds from Russia.
“I didn’t take any money from Russia, if that’s what you’re asking me,” Flynn said at first. Then when asked who did him pay him, Flynn replied: “My speakers’ bureau — ask them.”
What’s particularly concerning about the payments is that the cargo company had already been suspended by the United Nations due to a corruption scandal, while the cyber security company was jockeying to expand its business with the U.S. government.
Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor before ultimately being fired last month, sat in on a number of key intelligence briefings and had an extraordinary amount of influence in this area. Several democratic members of Congress are demanding to know whether Flynn revealed the payments on his White House security clearance – and if he did, why Trump still selected him for the position.
“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,” Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., the ranking minority member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote in a letter sent Thursday to President Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis and FBI Director James Comey.
This report comes after Flynn’s lobbying firm just recently disclosed with the Department of Justice in a late filing that he was working as an agent for the Turkish government, taking a substantial cash payment of $530,000 from them, as well. He did this while advising Trump on national security during his campaign. Shortly after Trump won the election, Flynn (unsurprisingly) wrote an op-ed calling for better U.S./Turkey relations.