First it was the revelation that he had spoken with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the months leading up to Trump’s inauguration to discuss sanctions that the Obama administration had levied against the Kremlin. After losing his job as National Security Advisor as a result of lying about the nature of those conversations to Vice President Mike Pence, Michael Flynn registered in the U.S. as a foreign agent for the Turkish government. Sure enough, the media had a field day with this catastrophic series of events within the Trump administration, and needless to say, it has been a rough few weeks for Michael Flynn.
Immersed within those headlines is the underlying prospect that the Trump campaign team and Russian government had been working together to thwart Democrats’ chances at the election. While we know for sure that the Russians did, in fact, attempt to hack into election infrastructure and engage in a propaganda campaign to shift voters over to Trump, we do not yet know just how involved Trump’s campaign might have been in the process. There are still ongoing investigations into the situation, and an upcoming hearing with FBI Director James Comey may illustrate more important details surrounding the controversy. However, a recent update suggests that trump insiders may have been closer to the Russian government than we had been led to believe.
According to a letter from Representative Elijah Cummings of the House Oversight Committee, Michael Flynn had been paid more than $30,000 by RT-TV, Russia’s propagandist state broadcasting service, for a speech in December of 2015. The U.S. government has labeled RT as a propaganda tool for the Kremlin, declaring in a recent report on the Russian intervention in the recent election that the broadcasting firm had engaged in a full-scale dis-information campaign in the U.S. leading up the Election Day.
Flynn had acknowledged the speaking event in the past, and he had even recognized that he had been paid for that speech. He had never announced the amount of money he received, however. Cummings’ letter questioned whether Flynn had properly reported the payment, as would be required by legal and military regulations. Flynn spokesman Price Floyd told reporters that “General Flynn reported the trip to the DIA both before he went to Russia and after he returned.” He declined to answer questions over whether the payment itself was reported.
The representative also accused Flynn of violating the emoluments clause, which would, in this case, prevent retired military officials from receiving payments from a foreign government. Flynn inevitably would have needed to receive the Army’s approval to do the speaking arrangement, however there is no record of that ever taking place.
What do you think about Flynn’s latest Russia debacle?