Some Quick Facts
Flynn sold out his opinion to Turkey, Obama was OK with it, Trump sacked him for it.
“General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration — but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that.”
— President Trump, in a tweet, May 8, 2017
“If President Obama was truly concerned about General Flynn, why didn’t he suspend General Flynn’s security clearance, which they had just reapproved months earlier. Additionally, why did the Obama administration let Flynn go to Russia for a paid speaking engagement and receive a fee?”
— White House spokesman Sean Spicer, at a news briefing, May 8.
Michael Thomas “Mike” Flynn (born December 1958) is a retired United States Army lieutenant general who was the eighteenth director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the first national security advisor appointed by President Donald Trump. Flynn served as the twenty-fifth national security advisor from January 20, 2017, to February 13, 2017. He was forced to resign after information surfaced he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature and content of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. Flynn’s tenure of just 24 days as national security advisor is the shortest in the history of the office. On April 27, 2017, the Pentagon inspector general announced an investigation into whether Flynn had accepted money from foreign governments without the required approval.
In September 2011, Flynn was promoted to Lieutenant General and assigned to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. On April 17, 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Flynn to be the 18th director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn took command of the DIA in July 2012. In October 2012, Flynn announced plans to release his paper “VISION2020: Accelerating Change Through Integration”, a look at changes he believes are necessary for the DIA in the future.
What Flynn did Wrong
In July 2016, Flynn spoke at a meeting of ACT! for America at a point when the 2016 Turkish coup d’état attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was still underway. He spoke favorably of the coup participants, saying that Erdoğan had been moving Turkey away from secularism and towards Islamism, and that participants in the coup wanted Turkey to be and to be seen as a secular nation—a goal “worth clapping for.” But by the end of September 2016, Flynn’s consulting company was payed off by a company owned by the Chair of the Turkish-American Business Council, which is an arm of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK), and on November 8 (election day in the United States), Flynn wrote an op-ed for The Hill, calling for U.S. backing for Erdoğan’s government and criticizing the regime’s opponent, Fethullah Gülen. At the time, Flynn did not disclose that his consulting firm had received funds from a company with ties to the Turkish government.
On March 8, 2017, Flynn registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for $530,000 worth of lobbying work before election day. This work was done on behalf of a Dutch-based company which may have been working for the Turkish government.
On March 24, 2017, former Director of the CIA James Woolsey said that Flynn, while working for the Trump presidential campaign, attended a meeting with top Turkish government ministers to abduct Fethullah Gulen and get him to Turkey without going through the U.S. extradition legal process. Gulen is an opponent of the Erdogan regime and has been accused by the regime of plotting the 2016 Turkish coup d’état attempt.
Flynn sat in on classified national security briefings with then-candidate Trump at the same time that Flynn was working for foreign clients, which raises ethical concerns and conflicts of interest.