Donald Trump swears he had no idea that former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had lobbied for Turkish interests. None at all. Mike Pence says he was also clueless that Flynn had basically been a foreign agent.
“Hearing that story today was the first I’d heard of it,” Pence told Fox News’ Bret Baier on Thursday night.
Now, this may come as a shock to you, but they lied. I know, I know. Who’d of thought something said by the Trump administration would turn out to be a steaming load of crap. (Insert eye roll here.)
Business Insider reports that “Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent sent Pence a letter on November 18 requesting more information about the potential conflicts of interest posed by Flynn’s lobbying work.”
“Recent news reports have revealed that Lt. Gen. Flynn was receiving classified briefings during the presidential campaign while his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, Inc., was being paid to lobby the U.S. Government on behalf of a foreign government’s interests,” Cummings wrote.
“Lt. Gen. Flynn’s General Counsel and Principal, Robert Kelley, confirmed that they were hired by a foreign company to lobby for Turkish interests, stating: ‘They want to keep posted on what we all want to be informed of: the present situation, the transition between President Obama and President-Elect Trump.’ When asked whether the firm had been hired because of Lt. Gen. Flynn’s close ties to President-elect Trump, Mr. Kelley responded, ‘I hope so.'”
Between August and November of last year, Flynn’s consulting firm was hired by Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin to lobby the U.S. government for the extradition of “Fetullah Gulen — a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania who Erdogan believes is responsible for planning last year’s attempted coup and generally fomenting dissent inside Turkey.”
Flynn resigned as Trump’s national security adviser after he was busted in shady talks with Russia. He claims he acted alone and it was all harmless, but that seems unlikely to anybody wth even the tiniest shred of common sense. Now, he is at the center of yet another scandal with foreign powers.
Cummings said that if Pence had listened to him months ago the administration might have been able to avoid “the problems that have occurred with Lt. General Flynn.”
“In addition to being in the press, I warned the Vice President directly three months ago about the conflicts created by Lt. General Flynn’s company lobbying on behalf of Turkish interests,” Cummings said.
“If the Vice President had heeded my warnings, it’s clear now he could have prevented the problems that occurred with Lt. General Flynn. Republicans in Congress are doing a disservice to the White House and our national security interests by not conducting rigorous and serious oversight of the administration, especially to help catch issues early and address them.”
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