President Trump’s transition team was told ahead of his inauguration that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was under investigation for working as an undisclosed lobbyist for Turkey during Trump’s campaign, The New York Times reported late Wednesday.
Sources told the Times that it was Flynn himself who told the Trump transition team that he was under investigation. Flynn was made Trump’s national security adviser despite the information.
The Times report comes after a week of bombshell stories surrounding the Trump administration. Last Tuesday Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey amid the bureau’s ongoing investigation of possible collusion between members of Trump’s campaign and Russia’s meddling in the presidential election.
On Tuesday the Times sent more shockwaves through Washington when it reported on the existence of a memo by Comey that revealed Trump had asked him to stop the FBI’s investigation of Flynn.
Earlier Wednesday, the Justice Department announced it had appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation.Flynn resigned from his White House post in February amid revelations that he discussed U.S. sanctions with Russia’s ambassador in the month before Trump took office and misled top administration officials, including Vice President Pence, about the nature of the conversations.
Aside from payments from Turkey, financial disclosures filed after Flynn resigned revealed he also received payments from Russian companies.
Flynn was paid $45,000 by RT in 2015 to speak at the group’s 10th anniversary gala. The two other companies — Kaspersky Government Security Solutions, a U.S. subsidiary of Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, and Russia-based Volga-Dnepr Airlines — paid him more than $5,000, according to the documents.