Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Fresh questions over Flynn add to White House turmoil


The New York Times published Wednesday another bombshell damaging to the Trump administration, and once again it depends on anonymous sources.

Flynn reportedly disclosed this information to transition team lawyer Donald F. McGahn II, who is now the White House's chief counsel on January 4, the New York Times reports. A few days later, Flynn had a breakfast meeting with the Turkish foreign minister, who went on to attend the inauguration.

That meant Trump's team knew about the investigation earlier than was previously reported, the report said.

Flynn was sacked as national security adviser by Trump on February 13 after the White House said he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other top officials about his communications with Russia's ambassador to the United States.

The national security adviser was sacked after just 24 days in the position. That would surely include Trump's firing last week of FBI Director James Comey.

President Trump would ultimately approve the Raqqa plan, but only after Flynn left the White House and it was made apparent that he misled the Vice President about his connections with Russian government officials.

Trump labels Russian Federation inquiry 'witch hunt'
He has likened the appointment of the Special Counsel with the "single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history". "I believe it hurts our country terribly", Trump told network anchors during a luncheon Thursday afternoon at the White House.

The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional officials looking into Russian interference in the US election and contacts between Trump's campaign and Russia, the report added. As recently as November, Flynn had done work that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey". On Nov. 8, the day of the election, Flynn wrote an op-ed in The Hill that advocated improved relations between Turkey and the United States and called Gulen "a shady Islamic mullah".

Reuters said it was did not receive any comments about the claims from White House, Flynn's lawyer, or the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The Justice Department also took notice.

This is some transition team Mike Pence ran. He ended up leaving a message, identifying himself as Flynn's lawyer.

One of those contacts was by Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch and politician, according to one person with detailed knowledge of the exchange and two others familiar with the issue.

December: Flynn has repeated contacts with various Russian officials but doesn't tell anybody. The first person to be apprised of this was the transition team's chief lawyer Don McGahn, who now serves as the White House counsel. Nonetheless, they did nothing until it all became public.

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