Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who has reportedly been offered the role of national security adviser in Trump’s White House, began receiving classified national security briefings last summer while he was also running a private consulting firm that offered “all-source intelligence support” to international clients.
Flynn’s association with his overseas clients is coming in for new scrutiny among recent disclosures that 2 months ago, during the height of the presidential campaign, his consulting firm, the Flynn Intel Group, registered to lobby for a Dutch company owned by a wealthy Turkish businessman close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.
Robert Kelley, the chief counsel to the Flynn Intel Group, read a statement from Flynn to Yahoo News on yesterday, promising that “if I return to government service, my relationship with my company will be severed, in accordance with the policy announced by President-elect Trump.”
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
But critics today dismissed Flynn’s pledge as “Too little, too late,” given that he began sitting in on U.S. intelligence briefings for Trump in August while working for foreign clients. Classified national security briefings are by tradition provided to the major presidential candidates and their top aides.
“This is profoundly troubling and should be disqualifying,” said Norm Eisen, who served as President Obama’s ethics adviser and later as an ambassador to the Czech Republic. He predicts that if Flynn is named as Trump’s national security adviser, “there will be wholesale resignations of national security professionals, and I believe some have already drafted their resignation letters.”