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Flynn’s Turkish Connection

McClatchy offers up [1] a damning report about Mike Flynn:

One of the Trump administration’s first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired – and it conformed to the wishes of Turkey, whose interests, unbeknownst to anyone in Washington, he’d been paid more than $500,000 to represent.

Flynn used his position as Trump’s top adviser on national security to affect U.S. policy in accordance with the preferences of the foreign government he was working for. It doesn’t matter that the government happened to be an ally–he was taking money as a lobbyist for another government while directly influencing U.S. foreign policy. This shows that Flynn was compromised from the very start of the transition, and it confirms that Trump was wrong to put him in such an important national security position.

The New York Times outdoes the McClatchy report [2]:

Michael T. Flynn told President Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case.

Despite this warning, which came about a month after the Justice Department notified Mr. Flynn of the inquiry, Mr. Trump made Mr. Flynn his national security adviser. The job gave Mr. Flynn access to the president and nearly every secret held by American intelligence agencies.

The curious thing about the Flynn-Turkey connection is that it was a very badly-kept secret. Details of Flynn’s connection to a firm that worked on behalf of the Turkish government were known [3] at least by mid-November, and there were hints that something fishy was going before that when he began singing Erdogan’s praises [4] and demanding Gulen’s extradition.

Despite all this, Trump made Flynn his National Security Advisor knowing that he was suspected of working as an undeclared lobbyist for a foreign government, and then during the transition Flynn used his position to affect U.S. policy to suit the Turkish government’s preferences. This is a startling example of the Trump transition team’s vetting failure, and it underscores why Flynn’s removal from his position as National Security Advisor was a good thing for the country.

11 Comments (Open | Close)

11 Comments To "Flynn’s Turkish Connection"

#1 Comment By Cassie On May 17, 2017 @ 10:52 pm

It’s almost funny: Flynn was subverting US foreign policy to please his Turkish paymasters while Trump was subverting US foreign policy to please his Russian paymasters.

It would be nice to know who the rest of Trump’s Cabinet actually work for.

#2 Comment By my favorite martian On May 17, 2017 @ 11:50 pm

“It would be nice to know who the rest of Trump’s Cabinet actually work for.”

Tillerson: Big Oil?
Kushner: Israel?
Mnuchin: Wall Street?
Mattis: the MIC?

The only one who’s clearly working for Americans is Jeff Sessions, who just appointed Mueller, another “good guy”, as IC. Maybe one or both of them will run for president in 2020.

#3 Comment By Viriato On May 18, 2017 @ 8:02 am

Repeal and replace Trump.

#4 Comment By Chris Chuba On May 18, 2017 @ 8:17 am

Okay but that’s a bad political decision not a criminal issue. We have been in bed with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and others for decades. I’m not saying I like it. Add it to the list of things I hate.
1. The rash decision to bomb Syria (which was applauded).
2. Increased support for the genocide in Yemen (applauded as ‘reassuring our allies).

I’m not a Trump apologist. I’m just saying that with Impeachment talk being thrown around, one has to differentiate between stupid vs. criminal decisions.

He did throw Flynn out weeks into his Administration. He was trying to find a non-Russophobe and it’s not like had had a lot of choices.

#5 Comment By Uncle Billy On May 18, 2017 @ 8:21 am

Flynn is going to burn up that $500K Turkish payday on legal fees. he will end up at some country club Federal Pen for a couple of years and richly deserves it. Flynn thinks that he is a bigshot, but selling out your country, your future and your finances for $500K is not smart. It’s pathetic.

#6 Comment By Centralist On May 18, 2017 @ 9:03 am

To Mr. Larison,

I am curious to you views on the recent violence between Erdogan’s Security Team and the Protesters in DC?

Very Respectfully

#7 Comment By Cassie On May 18, 2017 @ 9:25 am

The only one who’s clearly working for Americans is Jeff Sessions, who just appointed Mueller.

Sessions didn’t appoint Mueller and in fact was not told of the appointment until after it happened, because Sessions is implicated in the Russia matter.

Kushner: Israel? What Cabinet position does Kushner occupy?

#8 Comment By chequered On May 18, 2017 @ 12:48 pm

“Kushner: Israel? What Cabinet position does Kushner occupy?”

Kushner belongs to what in Andrew Jackson’s day was called “the kitchen cabinet”.

Of course Flynn never belonged to the Cabinet either – National Security Advisor isn’t a Cabinet level post. Like Kushner, Flynn didn’t even need to be confirmed.

#9 Comment By Lllurker On May 18, 2017 @ 3:52 pm

“It’s almost funny: Flynn was subverting US foreign policy to please his Turkish paymasters while Trump was subverting US foreign policy to please his Russian payments”

You put it like that and we really do look like a banana republic that is hosting a proxy war between Turkey and Russia. Except of course they are allies.

So if they are allies then what does that make the US? A proxy playground?

#10 Comment By sglover On May 18, 2017 @ 6:20 pm

You put it like that and we really do look like a banana republic…

Granted, Flynn’s just one guy, but the American military officer corps seems to have drifted quite a distance from the example of George C. Marshall.

#11 Comment By Hexexis On May 20, 2017 @ 5:44 pm

“Granted, Flynn’s just one guy, but the American military officer corps seems to have drifted quite a distance from the example of George C. Marshall.”

Pres. Obama was roundly ridiculed for relieving flag officers, but Gen. Marshall canned >50 generals during his first year as Army Chief of Staff. Since Goldwater-Nichols (1986), tho, firing flag officers no longer the domain of the service chiefs but of the SECDEF & Pres; altho this was never the intent (as I understand it) of Goldwater-Nichols.

But in the main military officer corps has drifted from the later examples of Gavin, MacArthur, Ridgway, & Shoup: all of whom opposed officer careerism & land wars in Asia.

BTW, in re Flynn, is the Army investigating his Turkey connex while he was still acdu?