Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-17?

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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:06 pm

MinM » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:53 am wrote:Image
Flynn dismissal linked to meeting with Cambridge graduate "Crazy Miss Cokehead"
http://dailym.ai/2ol6A98 via @MailOnline

Doesn't really belong in this thread (or does it?)
but I wanted to give this thread a bump...

One other off-topic:
The Spanish connection with Trump’s Russia scandal
Image

Alexander Torshin, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia and investigated in Spain for money laundering, has infiltrated the US president’s circle

On February 1, Alexander Torshin, 63, a Russian politician and banker who is close to Vladimir Putin and whom the Spanish anti-corruption prosecutor and the Civil Guard define in their reports as a godfather from a notorious Russian mafia organization, had in his diary for the next day an appointment to meet in Washington with the world’s most powerful man: Donald Trump. The encounter was due to take place before an official and well-attended breakfast meeting, which Torshin attended as the head of a Russian delegation. The meeting was canceled that very night, according to sources from the White House, given the wave of criticism in the US press related to the influence of determined Russian circles in President Trump’s power teams. But the information reveals the heights to which this person, who has been investigated by the Spanish authorities, had reached in his rise to the upper echelons of the American leader’s circle.

Torshin, who is currently the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia, has met with one of the children of the US president, has close links with the organization that provided the most money for Trump’s election campaign, the National Rifle Association (NRA), and attended the aforementioned breakfast that Donald Trump presided over in the White House in February.

The high-ranking official from the Central Bank of Russia has long been on the radar of the Spanish public prosecutor and the Civil Guard. He was on the brink of being arrested in Palma de Mallorca in the summer of 2013 during a meeting with a mafioso – who has just been sentenced in Spain – but he didn’t turn up to the meeting. A unit consisting of 12 officers was awaiting him at the airport and in a hotel, where he was expected to arrive accompanied by other people being investigated in a money-laundering ring. The Russian Federation’s Prosecutor General, which was aware that Torshin was being investigated, requested information about the case on at least two occasions, but received no response from the Spanish authorities given that the investigation was sealed.

His case constitutes another element to lay the foundation for the FBI investigation currently being conducted into the influence of the Russian government in the outcome of the US presidential elections last year. The political offensive by Torshin appears to form part of a strategy by the Kremlin aimed at influencing the internal policies of the United States. One of the most spectacular results of this apparent strategy was the mass hack of the internal communications of the campaign for Hillary Clinton, Trump’s rival, which was made public by WikiLeaks, according to the US intelligence services. Over the last year a number of trusted allies of Trump have been forced to resign given their shady contacts with Russia. The most recent was his national security advisor, Michael Flynn, on February 13.

The difference in the case of Torshin is that for the first time, a Russian mafia boss – at least one identified as such by the Spanish anti-corruption prosecutor – is within the circle of support to the new president of the United States.

As well as being a powerful banker, a leader of President Putin’s political party (United Russia) and his trusted ally, and a senator between 2001 and 2015 (as well as being chairman of the upper house of the Russian parliament between May 19 and September 21, 2011), he is, according to the investigation carried out by the Spanish security forces, a boss of a notorious criminal organization known as Taganskaya.

The relationship between Torshin and Alexander Romanov, a Russian mafioso established in Palma de Mallorca, is the key. An investigation carried out between 2012 and 2013 by a Palma court and the anti-corruption prosecutors José Grinda and Juan Carrau into Romanov concluded that Torshin was the boss of a Taganskaya criminal operation to launder money by buying up hotels in Mallorca. A total of 33 telephone conversations between Torshin and Romanov, to which EL PAÍS has had access, reveal that their relationship is not “purely social,” as Torshin claims, but rather based on business.

An internal document from the Civil Guard Information Service, dated July 2013, explains Torshin’s central role in the criminal plot. “As a consequence of the phone tapping carried out in the aforementioned inquiries it has been ratified that, above Romanov, on a higher hierarchical level, is Alexander Torshin. In the numerous phone conversations and with different contact persons, Alexander Romanov himself recognized his subordination before someone who he describes as ‘the Godfather’ or ‘the boss’ ... which in itself is telling when it comes to situating their relationship.”

The Spanish police followed Torshin, but he managed to slip away: three judicial and police sources from the investigation have confirmed that Torshin decided not to attend Romanov’s birthday party on August 21, 2013 as planned, because, they believe, he was warned by the Russian prosecutor that if he stepped onto Spanish soil he would be arrested. “The liaison from the Russian Interior Ministry in Madrid had written a report about the Taganskaya and we believe that in Russia they put the screws on him. We suspect that it was him who warned that Torshin was being investigated in Spain and that was why he didn’t come,” a judicial source explains. “The case had not been completed and we could not give out that information,” explains another judicial source. “Russia also discovered that we were investigating Torshin because Romanov’s lawyers told the Russian prosecutor as much in writing and they complained saying that they were being persecuted in Spain.”

The confidential report, which is not to be found in the legal case, points to the connection between the Russian state and the Russian mafia. “The criminal organizations from the countries of the East have as their main characteristics the penetration of different state powers, such as politics, which is represented in this case by the figure of the First Vicechairman of the Federation Council of Russia of the Federal Assembly of Russia of the Russian Federation, Alexander Porfirievich Torshin.” The five-page document, entitled Alexander Porfirievich Torshin in Operation Dirieba, was produced so that the Anti-Corruption Public Prosecutor could decide whether or not to charge Torshin with the laundering of more than €14 million in the purchase of a hotel in Mallorca, and concludes that both the money and the hotel belonged to the Russian ex-politician. It even claims that the hotel forms part of the inheritance that Torshin wants to leave to his two daughters.

Why was Torshin not prosecuted? “It made no sense to charge Torshin because Russia does not process letters rogatory [requests for legal assistance from abroad] that we file with that country and there would have been no practical purpose: it would have delayed the investigation, it would have slowed it down,” explains a clearly irritated judicial source. “Calling on Russia to arrest him would have been useless because Russia does not cooperate. This summer there will be a trial in Spain in the Troika case – against the Russian mafia in Spain. There are a number of fugitives in Russia and they won’t hand them over to us. We don’t have the support of the Russian authorities.”

The formidable and powerful Taganskaya organization of which Torshin is allegedly part is recognized by the US and the EU information and intelligence services (Europol, the FBI…), according to the dossier about Torshin from the Spanish Civil Guard. Its activities include the appropriation of companies using violent or fraudulent methods, bank scams, extortion and the carrying out of contract killings.

The point of entry for Torshin to the upper echelons of US politics was the National Rifle Association (NRA), which is perhaps the most powerful lobby in the United States. The NRA invested more than $21 million in Trump’s election campaign, more than any other organization. According to the group’s official magazine, the NRA proclaimed itself to be “the key” to the Trump victory.

Torshin has managed to become a “life member” of the NRA. He is also linked to the Russian group The Right to Bear Arms, which was created in 2012 and copies the objectives of the NRA. It is presided over by Maria Butina, a young admirer of Putin who has had a meteoric career by Torshin’s side, and who now resides in Washington. Butina celebrated her birthday with a costume party in the US capital on November 12 last year, four days after the presidential elections. According to the press in Washington, the main reason for the celebration was the election victory of Donald Trump. Among the guests were a number of the new president’s campaign consultants.

The first direct contact between Torshin, an “honorary member” of the Russian pro-arms group, and the NRA took place in May 2013. Torshin traveled to the annual NRA convention in Houston. He himself wrote about this in an article published eight months later in the Washington Times, a pro-Trump daily, whose Opinion section editor, David Keene, was president of the NRA and is a friend of Torshin.

At that time, Torshin was a Russian senator. But his political career was on the rise. In January 2015 he was named deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia. And one of his first measures was to designate Butina “personal executive assistant.” Some months later, on December 11, 2015, the pro-arms group presided over by Butina invited a delegation from the NRA, nearly all Trump acolytes, to an event in Moscow. Torshin gave the welcome speech.

In May 2016, in the midst of the US electoral campaign, Torshin traveled once more to the NRA convention, which was celebrated this time in Louisville, Kentucky. Trump, who was by that point the de facto Republican candidate to the presidency, attended the annual event run by his main benefactors. There Torshin had fleeting contact with the future president, who only went so far as to shake his hand. With his son, Donald Trump Jr., things went further: he sat by his side during a private dinner in a restaurant in Kentucky.

The rise of Torshin in the upper circles of the United States continued to progress. When Trump, a self-declared admirer of Putin, reached the presidency, Torshin was invited to an official breakfast at the White House scheduled for February 2, along with other guests. The event was later to be remembered thanks to Trump’s jibes aimed at Arnold Schwarzenegger. Torshin traveled there as the head of a Russian delegation. Together with the invitation, Torshin received a proposal for a meeting with the president just before the breakfast, according to Yahoo News, which contributed to this article. This meeting was suddenly cancelled. The reason, according to sources from the White House, were the rumors and suspicions about which all of Washington is now talking: the links between Trump’s political team and Moscow. The White House gave no official explanation for the cancellation. Maria Butina, who attended gala dinners to celebrate Trump’s inauguration, confirmed to Yahoo News in an email that the notification of the cancellation of the meeting between her boss and the president arrived the night before the breakfast.

During that visit to Washington, Torshin did have dinner with two Republican congressmen. The date was February 1 in a French restaurant, according to an article published in Time magazine two weeks ago, and at which Maria Butina and a close friend of Trump White House strategist Stephen Bannon were also present.

The apparent mission by Torshin to infiltrate the highest spheres of power worked. And the Russian connection continues to create intrigue in Washington. As the veteran columnist Thomas Friedman wrote last month in the New York Times: “[...] the biggest national security question staring us in the face today: What is going on between Donald Trump and the Russians?” After the investigations by the Spanish judicial authorities and the police into the banker, politician and mafia godfather Alexander Torshin there are more unanswered questions today, and more scandals in Washington to be investigated.

http://elpais.com/elpais/2017/03/31/ine ... 09827.html

Aside from the NRA, other "strange" organizations supported financially by the Russian Putin and his Mafia:

- Give Alaska back to Russia
- California secession (Calexit) Movement
- Taliban
- Assad
- Eastern Ukrainian rebels
- Marine Le Pen (right wing French Presidential Candidate
- Right Wing German Populists
- Hackers of progressive group

:backtotopic:

Malcolm Nance‏Verified account
@MalcolmNance
BREAKING: There it is. Flynn poss caught in FSB honeypot w/female Russian Intel asset. Nance's Law dude! reporting!


Michael Flynn invited female Russian operative Svetlana Lokhova to accompany him to Moscow
By Bill Palmer | April 2, 2017 | 0

The ongoing saga of Michael Flynn and Russia keeps growing stranger – and more disconcerting. Two weeks ago Palmer report brought you the story of how Flynn had met a Russian woman at a security conference in 2014 while he was running the DIA, and he failed to report it as required. Now it’s being reported by The Guardian that the woman is indeed some kind of Russian operative – and that Flynn later attempted to travel back to Moscow with her.
The woman in question is Svetlana Lokhova. She and Flynn first met at conference in the United Kingdom. Intelligence officials in Flynn’s position are required to report incidental contact with someone from a hostile nation, due to the frequency with which foreign operatives try to use such “incidental” interactions as a way of obtaining information or recruiting people. Shortly afterward, Flynn began acting so erratically on the job at the Defense Intelligence Agency that he had to be fired. He then maintained his contact with Lokhova.
Based on the extremely rare access which Vladimir Putin granted Svetlana Lokhova to GRU spy records, which have only been seen by two or three people in recent years, it’s become evident that she’s either a Russian government operative or a Russian spy or she has close connections with Russian spy. What’s not clear is whether Mike Flynn knew she was Russian operative when he invited her to accompany him on his next trip to Moscow, asking her to act as his translator. That never happened. But Flynn did return to Moscow in December 2015 to have a now-infamous dinner wth Putin, and then he joined the Donald Trump campaign just two months later.
The Guardian report on Flynn and Lokhova does not address the question of whether or not there was a romantic element to their interactions (link). However, NBC News security analyst Malcolm Nance tweeted his assessment that “Flynn poss caught in FSB honeypot w/female Russian Intel asset” (link). Our research points to Lokhova being 36 years old (link), making her barely half Flynn’s age. It raises the question of whether Lokhova recruited Flynn into the Kremlin’s arms to begin with.
http://www.palmerreport.com/news/svetla ... scow/2150/


Banker who earned £750,000 a year was only hired for her body, tribunal hears
A City banker who earned £750,000 a year was singled out by her boss for the sack after rejecting his sexual advances, an employment tribunal has heard.

Image
Svetlana Lokhova
By Martin Evans6:27PM GMT 08 Mar 2013
Russian born Svetlana Lokhova, 32, is suing her bank for more than £5 million after claiming she was subjected to a “sustained and vicious campaign of harassment and discrimination”.
Miss Lokhova claimed she was the victim of sexist bullying and had even been told by one colleague that she was only been hired “because of her t***”.
Bosses falsely accused her of being a regular drug user, labelling her “Crazy Miss Cokehead” and suggested she have sex with Nigerian tribesmen in order to “calm her down”.
Miss Lokhova, whose basic salary of £160,000 a year was supplemented by bonus of £666,000, turned to her line manager, Timur Nasardinov, for support.
But she claimed that despite personally head hunting her for the job, he too turned on her, placing her name on a list of people to be fired.
Related Articles
Banker labelled 'crazy miss cokehead' wins harassment claim 05 Nov 2013
I lost job for not being a Muslim, claims banker 22 Nov 2012
Female solicitor told not to have a relationship or babies by boss, tribunal hears 09 Jan 2013
Miss Lokhova, who is the daughter of a Russian shipbroker said: “On reflection, it seems to me that this may have been because, on or around 1 December 2011, Timur made an inappropriate and unwanted sexual overture towards me at an after work dinner event, which I rejected.
“Having now read Timur's statement, it seems perhaps that Timur was irritated that I had rejected his advances and sought to punish me by means of placing my name on a list of people to be fired.”
She told the tribunal that colleagues had also made references to the fact he was attracted to her, with one commenting he must have wanted “extra services” and that she must have been hired for her physical appearance rather than her talent.
Miss Lokhova had originally worked as a trader for the Russian owned Sberbank, but resigned her position after blowing the whistle on a senior colleague who she accused of insider trading.
The tribunal heard she was lured back to work for the bank’s London based subsidiary Troika Dialog UK when Mr Nasardinov offered her a guaranteed annual bonus of £666,000.
She said: “For example, my manager and colleagues described me in sexist terms as 'Miss Cokehead', 'b****', 'chemically dependent minigarch daughter' and 'Miss dodgy septum' in communications made to senior people within Troika group and to clients.”
In one email, her line manager David Longmuir, who has accepted the drug allegations were untrue, told a client: “We are all quaking here - awaiting arrival of Ms Cokehead in a puff of sulphurous smoke.”
While one senior analyst wrote an email to a co-worker that he “knew a few tribe leaders in Nigeria” who could help her relax in stressful periods.
Miss Lokhova told the tribunal she burst into tears when she read details of the derogatory comments made about her.
She said: “I believe this comment is indicative of the bank's chauvinistic culture generally, and discriminatory treatment of me.
“The references to me being mentally unstable and a drug user were particularly hurtful for me because my mother suffers from mental illness and alcoholism.
“My whole life has been dedicated to trying to rise above the destructive behaviour that had afflicted her. To discover the extent of the sexist comments made against me is shocking.”
Just six months after re-joining the bank she had been placed on a list of people who were likely to be sacked due to poor performance.
After initially being signed off with stress, she finally resigned last April.
She is suing the bank for sex discrimination, harassment, victimisation and constructive dismissal.
The bank has strongly denied the allegations and has claimed that Miss Lokhova routinely lost her temper and lacked experience in the field in which she was employed.
The hearing continues.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/news ... hears.html



Was Michael Flynn Russia’s “primary channel of communication with the Trump team”?
By Juan Cole | Mar. 31, 2017 |

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –
Former National Security Adviser to president Trump, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Michael Flynn, has allegedly offered to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Russia’s role in the US election, on condition that he is granted immunity from prosecution.
This development could be important, because Flynn was called by Russian analyst Vladimir Frolov, known for pro-Moscow journalism, one of “primary channels of communication with the Trump team” for the Russian government.
Frolov’s assertion was given some weight by the reactions in Moscow to Flynn’s firing in mid-February, according to the Moscow Times:
“Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, wrote that ‘Russophobia had permeated the White House.’
Duma deputy Alexei Pushkov tweeted that ‘it was not Flynn who was targeted but relations with Russia.’
That such high level Russian government officials complained so bitterly about the loss of their asset, Flynn, is more than suspicious. Pushkov seems to have thought that US-Russian relations depended on Flynn being on the NSC.
Flynn had visited Moscow in 2015 and was seated with Vladimir Putin at a gala in celebration of the founding in 2000 of Russia Today, the Russian government-owned cable news channel. Flynn was allegedly paid tens of thousands of dollars for this appearance. Since he is a retired general, he should not have taken money from a foreign government and/or should have reported it, since officers can always be called back up.
Then there are allegations that Flynn began meeting with Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. After the Trump victory, which many believe was orchestrated by Russian cyber-cons, Flynn was in regular contact with Kislyak. He called him 5 times on Christmas Day. In a later telephone conversation, Flynn is alleged to have reassured Kislyak that new Obama sanctions would be reversed by the Trump administration.
The Moscow Times writes:
“Russian analyst Dmitry Suslov says Flynn’s five phone conversations with the ambassador on the day of sanctions were nothing out of the ordinary. ‘It was necessary for him to guarantee a smooth transition and devise a foreign policy for the administration,’ says Suslov.”
Soon after Flynn’s resignation, on Feb. 20, Tatyana Stanovaya, director of the Analysis Department at the Center for Political Technologies, wrote at Politcom.ru, according to BBC Monitoring, “ Michael Flynn’s resignation has come as a great disappointment to Russia, since his name was linked to some degree to hopes of a future warming of relations and a review of the sanctions regime.”
On Feb. 23, Viktor Olevich wrote in Izvestia, according to BBC Monitoring, that Trump letting Flynn go was “a sign of weakness.” He added that Flynn believed that the US could not simultaneously confront China, Iran and other threats and also handle Russia. Olevich wrote,
“In terms of America’s national interests Flynn was an advocate of detente in relations with Moscow . . . He saw opportunities for fruitful cooperation with Russia in the fight against Islamist terrorist groupings in the Middle East. At the same time, the retired general pursued the goal of driving a wedge between Moscow and Tehran, of detaching Russia from its strategic partners and allies.”
So Flynn is alleged by this Russian pundit to have sought, by his contacts with Russia, to detach Moscow from Tehran and to free the US to concentrate on China.
——
Related video added by Juan Cole:
CBS Evening News: ” Flynn offers to be interviewed provided he is shielded from “unfair prosecution”

https://www.juancole.com/2017/03/michae ... ation.html
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:16 am

Okay, I Think That's Confirmed

ByJOSH MARSHALLPublishedAPRIL 4, 2017, 7:59 PM EDT

Yesterday evening I pointed out that a little discussed sentence in Eli Lake's 'un-masking' story was key to understanding what actually happened in this 'un-masking' mystery. With a bit of informed speculation I suggested that what likely happened is that Mike Flynn protege Ezra Cohen-Watnick was freelancing and started his own 'review' of surveillance intercepts of the Trump transition, took his findings to the White House Counsel's office only to get told to stop since lawyers would have seen the dangerous (to the White House) business he was up to. Shut down by the Counsel's office, he decided to do an end-run around his bosses and go to Devin Nunes.

This story out from the AP seems to confirm this is pretty much exactly what happened.

From the AP (emphasis added)...

The unmasking review was led by Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the NSC's senior director of intelligence. Cohen-Watnick has clashed with the CIA and was on the verge of being moved out of his job until Trump political advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner stepped in to keep him in the role.
Cohen-Watnick raised his findings about Rice with the White House counsel's office, according to the official. The counsel's office ordered him to stand down because the lawyers did not want the White House to be running an independent investigation into the prior administration.

Still, the White House has appeared to find other ways to promote the idea that Obama officials were conducting improper surveillance of Trump's team.

In mid-March, House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes abruptly announced he had seen "troubling" information about spy agencies widely spreading the identities of Trump associates. The president's advisers quickly embraced Nunes' revelations, but did not acknowledge at the time that the congressman had viewed the information at the White House with the help of White House officials.


I'll also note that the administration's explanation of how this 'review' got started doesn't really pass the laugh test.

The U.S. official said Rice's Trump-related requests were discovered as part of a National Security Council review of the government's policy on "unmasking" — the intelligence community's term for revealing Americans' identities that would otherwise be hidden in classified reports. The review was prompted by a belief that there were inefficiencies in the current procedures and concerns over a policy change made in the closing days of the Obama administration, according to the official, who insisted on anonymity in order to disclose the sensitive information.


Please. Inefficiencies? Please.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick is a Flynn protege and loyalist. Flynn's replacement, H.R. McMaster tried to fire him as close to his first order of business but was prevented from doing so by President Trump, after the intervention of Bannon and Kushner on Cohen-Watnick's behalf.

The 'review' appears to have begun while Flynn was still in place. Which is more likely: Flynn ordered his lieutenant to find out how his calls with the Russian Ambassador had ended up in press reports? or Flynn or his deputy hit the ground running with a review of possible inefficiencies in the 'un-masking' process?

You don't have to answer.
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:02 am

Flynn’s Turkish lobbying linked to Russia
The former national security adviser’s client had business dealings in Russia and worked with an executive in Russian oil companies on Turkish lobbying projects.
By ISAAC ARNSDORF 04/25/17 05:14 AM EDT

Michael Flynn has offered evolving accounts of his lobbying work for Ekim Alptekin. | AP Photo

By AARON DAVID MILLER and RICHARD SOKOLSKY
The Turkish man who gave Mike Flynn a $600,000 lobbying deal just before President Donald Trump picked him to be national security adviser has business ties to Russia, including a 2009 aviation financing deal negotiated with Vladimir Putin, according to court records.

The man, Ekim Alptekin, has in recent years helped to coordinate Turkish lobbying in Washington with Dmitri “David” Zaikin, a Soviet-born former executive in Russian energy and mining companies who also has had dealings with Putin’s government, according to three people with direct knowledge of the activities.

This unusual arrangement, in which Alptekin and Zaikin have helped steer Turkish lobbying through various groups since at least 2015, raises questions about both the agenda of the two men and the source of the funds used to pay the lobbyists.

Although Turkey is a NATO ally, its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has grown increasingly authoritarian and friendly with Putin. And the hiring of Flynn by Alptekin came at a time when Flynn was working for Trump’s campaign and Putin’s government was under investigation for interfering with the U.S. election.

Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, declined to comment. In a filing with the Justice Department, Flynn said he relied on assurances from Alptekin that he was not directly or indirectly funded by a foreign government. But shifting explanations and a web of business ties raise questions about the arrangement.

Flynn has offered evolving accounts of his lobbying work for Alptekin. In September, Flynn reported his client as a Dutch shell company owned by Alptekin. After being forced to leave the White House — reportedly because he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations during the transition with the Russian ambassador — Flynn filed new paperwork in March acknowledging that his lobbying work “principally benefitted” the Turkish government.


The revelation of Russian business ties to the man who hired Flynn — which has not been previously reported — threatens to complicate the White House’s struggle to escape the shadow of the FBI investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian agents.

Flynn has been a focus for concerns about Russian ties to both the Trump campaign, for which he was a key adviser and surrogate, and the Trump administration, in which, as national security adviser, he had access to the most sensitive state secrets.

He also has a history of failing to disclose ties to Russia. His original White House ethics disclosure failed to include payments from Kremlin propaganda network RT and two other Russian companies. The RT payment was for a paid speech Flynn gave at a Moscow gala where he sat at the same table as Putin.

A White House spokesman declined to comment.

Zaikin declined to be interviewed but said in an email that he wasn’t involved in Flynn’s lobbying and doesn’t know Alptekin.

Alptekin, in an interview, said he hired Flynn with his own money and did not coordinate any lobbying for the Turkish government. He also denied knowing Zaikin.

But Alptekin acknowledged that he has attended events and met with leaders of the Turkish Heritage Organization, a Washington-based group of Turkish-Americans loyal to Erdogan. The organization was started when Zaikin asked a Washington-based international political consultant named John Moreira to help set it up, Moreira told POLITICO.

Asked why Zaikin — who is not Turkish and has no apparent ties to Turkey — would be organizing a Turkish heritage organization, Moreira said he thought Zaikin had Turkish friends and business associates.

“I don’t know who David was working for. He just asked me to do this,” Moreira said.

Moreira said he was paid to help manage the heritage organization but would not say by whom.

Moreira said he gave Zaikin weekly updates on the organization’s activities and that Zaikin visited Washington about every other month. On at least one occasion, Alptekin, who was born in Turkey and grew up in the Netherlands, met with communications consultants working for the Turkish Heritage Organization, he said.

But three people with direct knowledge of the situation said it was more than just one meeting; Zaikin and Alptekin worked together to help coordinate pro-Turkish lobbying.

For his part, Zaikin said, “I introduced [the Turkish Heritage Organization] to a few companies who I believed were industry professionals in good standing. I was present at a few meetings.”

Zaikin, 49, was born in Ukraine and grew up as a citizen of the Soviet Union. He said in emails that doctors excused him from the Soviet military draft because of an injury, and that his family left the Soviet Union in 1990. He subsequently became a Canadian citizen and now lives in London.


In the 2000s, Zaikin was an executive in Russia’s oil industry at a time when Putin was consolidating control over the country’s mineral wealth to the financial benefit of himself and the circle of oligarchs who are his key supporters and associates.

As chairman and CEO of a company called Siberian Energy Group, Zaikin obtained mineral interests and exploration licenses in Russia’s Kurgan province, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Siberian Energy Group’s dealings under Zaikin were characteristic of the equity trades, offshore financing schemes and consulting agreements that Putin’s allies have used to protect and hide assets.

In 2008, Zaikin made a deal with an ex-KGB oligarch involved in the giant state oil company Gazprom. Zaikin’s company sold the oligarch a 2.5 percent stake in a subsidiary, known as KNG, for shares worth $10, equivalent to valuing the entire subsidiary at $400, according to SEC disclosures. That came less than two years after Zaikin’s company bought KNG for the equivalent of $2.7 million.

The same month as the deal with the oligarch, Zaikin’s company issued shares to a limited liability company in Moscow called Business Standard. In 2007, Zaikin’s company agreed to pay the firm thousands more shares in exchange for what the contract called “certain consulting services,” including help in obtaining oil and gas drilling licenses from the Russian government.

Zaikin was also a director of a subsidiary called Zauralneftegaz that explored for oil and gas in West Siberia. The company was in part controlled by shell companies set up by a London law firm involved in the Panama Papers, the massive leak of records from an offshore finance law firm that showed how Putin associates secretly moved around $2 billion in assets.

Alptekin has had his own business dealings in Russia.

As a partner in an investment group called ETIRC as early as 2006, Alptekin bought a stake in a New Mexico jet manufacturer called Eclipse Aviation. In September 2008, Eclipse announced plans to build a $205 million factory in Russia financed by Russian state bank Vnesheconombank, whose board was chaired by Putin, then prime minister. A photo in the trade press showed Putin personally inspecting one of Eclipse’s jets.

But a month later, Eclipse filed for bankruptcy protection. Alptekin and his partners planned to buy out the company with financing from the Putin-chaired bank. Putin was personally involved in approving a loan from the bank to Eclipse, according to court records.

“The Eclipse project is one of the top priority to be funded and has been approved by Prime Minister Putin,” the minutes of an Eclipse board meeting Feb. 16, 2009, said, referring to ETIRC’s planned purchase of Eclipse.

But the funding apparently never materialized, and the sale didn’t go through. Instead, Alptekin and partners bought the old company’s assets for $40 million and formed a company called Eclipse Aerospace. When the company sought bankruptcy protection, it had declared assets valued at almost $1.1 billion.

“I think it was a good deal,” Alptekin said in his interview with POLITICO.

Alptekin acknowledged ETIRC’s negotiations with the bank chaired by Putin, but said he never interacted with any Russian officials. There are no Russians involved in the new company, he said.

Today, that company, known as EA Group, markets Eclipse jets in Turkey, Russia and the Middle East, according to its website. But Alptekin, in his POLITICO interview, said he lost the license to market the jets in Russia because he failed to sell any.

The company also has an arms-dealing division, focusing on Turkey and the Middle East. Alptekin said he sold video surveillance equipment for Turkish police helicopters and declined to discuss his other deals. He said the arms division isn’t active currently.

In his Justice Department filings, Flynn said the lobbying work he did for Alptekin focused on pressuring the U.S. to hand over Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania whom Erdogan claims is trying to overthrow him.

The lobbying work that Alptekin and Zaikin helped organize on behalf of Turkish groups also focused on Gulen.

Zaikin did not sign checks or contracts — the K Street firms were hired through the Turkish Heritage Organization and another nonprofit called the Turkish Institute for Progress, according to lobbying disclosure records. Zaikin also asked Moreira to help set up the Turkish Institute for Progress, Moreira said.

But the firms sometimes sent invoices to one of Zaikin’s companies, Key Elements Group in London, according to people with direct knowledge of the dealings. Zaikin dissolved the company in December, according to British corporate records.

The Turkish Institute for Progress’s president until December, a Turkish woman in New Jersey named Derya Taskin, initially denied knowing Zaikin. Later, she acknowledged hiring Moreira and knowing a “David” who worked with him.

Taskin declined to disclose the group’s donors. She said her organization’s nonprofit status was still pending approval so she could not provide an annual IRS filing.

Asked how she connected with the lobbying firms her group hired, Taskin said, “We just Googled them.” Later, she acknowledged that Moreira recommended the firms.

The Turkish Heritage Organization says it operates independently of the Turkish government and of the Turkish Institute for Progress. But emails hacked from Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak and published by WikiLeaks in December appear to show that the organization’s leaders reported to Albayrak and other Turkish officials about their lobbying activities in Washington. The emails, which were stolen by a Turkish Marxist group called RedHack, also appear to show Zaikin receiving reports of those lobbying activities.

In February 2015, Turkish Heritage Organization member Ali Cinar alerted Zaikin and the group’s other leaders to a congressional letter critical of Erdogan, according to one of the emails. The heritage organization’s president at the time, Halil Danismaz, forwarded the email to Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law, and Erdogan’s son Bilal.

Danismaz, who left the group and the U.S. last year, denied reporting to Albayrak and said Zaikin introduced the heritage organization to “companies who can help us on PR and similar issues."

“I have been a victim of massive defamation campaign sponsored by sophisticated GULEN owned infrastructure,” he said in an email to POLITICO.

Cinar, now the Turkish Heritage Organization’s president, confirmed the emails’ authenticity but said he wasn’t aware of Zaikin’s Russian ties or Danismaz’s apparent contacts with Turkish officials. He said Zaikin was a consultant to Danismaz.

“We don’t do lobbying for the Turkish government,” he said.

In another email from the same hack, Moreira, the American consultant who was working with Zaikin, updated Zaikin, Cinar and longtime Turkey lobbyist Lydia Borland about a congressional resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Danismaz told Erdogan’s son and son-in-law that the heritage organization would soon publicize its own resolution that their lobbyists were promoting to members of Congress. Moreira’s message included the original email signature from one of the lobbying firms working for the Turkish Institute for Progress.

Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law, was one of the Turkish officials who Alptekin arranged for Flynn to meet in New York in September, according to Flynn’s disclosures. They discussed kidnapping Gulen to remove him to Turkey, according to a person who was briefed on the meeting.
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/2 ... sia-237550


House oversight committee begins reviewing Flynn security clearance documents
CNN Digital Expansion DC Manu Raju
By Tom LoBianco and Manu Raju, CNN
Updated 8:58 AM ET, Tue April 25, 2017
What you need to know about Michael Flynn

The House oversight panel has taken a particular focus on Michael Flynn's work
The former national security adviser to Donald Trump resigned earlier this year
(CNN)Members of the House oversight committee are set to review the first batch of documents in response to their probe into whether President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, properly disclosed payments from foreign governments on his security clearance application.

The committee is gathering Tuesday morning at the Capitol to review classified material provided by the Department of Defense in response to its March 22 request for more information on Flynn, according to MJ Henshaw, a spokeswoman for House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz.
The committee has sent additional requests for information about Flynn to the White House, the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. However, Tuesday's meeting will only include responses from the Pentagon.
Oversight investigators revealed last month that Flynn had received more than $45,000 for a speech he gave to RT-TV in Russia and $530,000 for work his lobbying firm did that, according to the committee, likely benefited the Republic of Turkey.
RELATED: How Michael Flynn lost his job in 23 days
The House and Senate intelligence committees have been leading the primary investigations into Russia's interference in the US elections and possible coordination with top aides to the Trump campaign. However, the House oversight panel has taken a particular focus on Flynn's work -- drilling down in a series of requests.
Flynn was forced to resign from his role as Trump's national security adviser after it was discovered he withheld information about discussions he had with Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. Flynn is one of four former Trump aides at the center of the FBI's probe and is a top target for House and Senate investigators as well.
Since he resigned, Flynn has retained a lawyer and has offered to testify in exchange for immunity from prosecution -- an offer nobody has apparently taken him up on.
RELATED: Flynn immunity offer hangs over Russia investigators
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/25/politics/ ... committee/


Chaffetz, Cummings: Flynn Could’ve Broken Law By Accepting Foreign Payments

J. Scott Applewhite
ByALLEGRA KIRKLANDPublishedAPRIL 25, 2017, 11:55 AM EDT
The top Democrat and Republican on the House Oversight Committee announced Tuesday that ousted Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn could have broken the law by accepting payments from foreign governments as a former military officer.

After viewing classified documents that included his application to renew his security clearance, Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said there was “no evidence” that Flynn made the appropriate disclosures about payments he received from abroad.

“As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey, or anybody else, and it appears as if he did take that money,” Chaffetz said, noting that the committee still needed to reach out to the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense for additional information.

“It was inappropriate,” he continued. “And there are repercussions for the violation of law.”

Flynn is a retired lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Obama administration. In 2015, he was paid $45,000 by RT, a state-run Russian media outlet, to give a speech at a gala in Moscow, where he was seated next to President Vladimir Putin.

Shortly after he was forced out of the Trump White House for failing to disclose conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., he filed paperwork with the Justice Department acknowledging that the $600,000 lobbying gig he was paid for while a top adviser to the Trump campaign “principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.” Politico reported Tuesday that the Turkish businessman who hired him, Elim Alptekin, has business ties to Russia’s government.

Cummings called the documents his committee viewed about Flynn “extremely troubling” and said both he and Chaffetz believed they should be declassified for public viewing.

The Maryland Democrat said Flynn’s January 2016 application to renew his security clearance, obtained after months of effort by the committee, contained no mention of the funds he received on the Moscow trip or evidence that he sought permission to obtain that money.

Knowingly falsifying the application is a felony, Cummings said, punishable by fines and up to five years imprisonment.

Both Chaffetz and Cummings said the final decision about what would happen to Flynn rested with the Army Comptroller and Department of Defense, but that they wanted to hold a hearing with the retired general.

Cummings added that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus last week refused their bipartisan request for any documents “referring or relating to Lieutenant General Flynn’s contacts with foreign nationals.”

Though neither he or Chaffetz alleged the Trump administration was trying to obstruct their investigation, Cummings called the lack of information “unacceptable.”

The bipartisan letter to Priebus and response from White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short are below.
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/c ... n-payments
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:44 am

Flynn’s Turkish lobbying linked to Russia
The former national security adviser’s client had business dealings in Russia and worked with an executive in Russian oil companies on Turkish lobbying projects.
By ISAAC ARNSDORF 04/25/17 05:14 AM EDT

The Turkish man who gave Mike Flynn a $600,000 lobbying deal just before President Donald Trump picked him to be national security adviser has business ties to Russia, including a 2009 aviation financing deal negotiated with Vladimir Putin, according to court records.

The man, Ekim Alptekin, has in recent years helped to coordinate Turkish lobbying in Washington with Dmitri “David” Zaikin, a Soviet-born former executive in Russian energy and mining companies who also has had dealings with Putin’s government, according to three people with direct knowledge of the activities.

This unusual arrangement, in which Alptekin and Zaikin have helped steer Turkish lobbying through various groups since at least 2015, raises questions about both the agenda of the two men and the source of the funds used to pay the lobbyists.

Although Turkey is a NATO ally, its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has grown increasingly authoritarian and friendly with Putin. And the hiring of Flynn by Alptekin came at a time when Flynn was working for Trump’s campaign and Putin’s government was under investigation for interfering with the U.S. election.

Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, declined to comment. In a filing with the Justice Department, Flynn said he relied on assurances from Alptekin that he was not directly or indirectly funded by a foreign government. But shifting explanations and a web of business ties raise questions about the arrangement.

Flynn has offered evolving accounts of his lobbying work for Alptekin. In September, Flynn reported his client as a Dutch shell company owned by Alptekin. After being forced to leave the White House — reportedly because he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations during the transition with the Russian ambassador — Flynn filed new paperwork in March acknowledging that his lobbying work “principally benefitted” the Turkish government.

The revelation of Russian business ties to the man who hired Flynn threatens to complicate the White House’s struggle to escape the shadow of the FBI investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian agents.

Flynn has been a focus for concerns about Russian ties to both the Trump campaign, for which he was a key adviser and surrogate, and the Trump administration, in which, as national security adviser, he had access to the most sensitive state secrets.

He also has a history of failing to disclose ties to Russia. His original White House ethics disclosure failed to include payments from Kremlin propaganda network RT and two other Russian companies. The RT payment was for a paid speech Flynn gave at a Moscow gala where he sat at the same table as Putin.

A White House spokesman declined to comment.

Zaikin declined to be interviewed but said in an email that he wasn’t involved in Flynn’s lobbying and doesn’t know Alptekin.

Alptekin, in an interview, said he hired Flynn with his own money and did not coordinate any lobbying for the Turkish government. He also denied knowing Zaikin.

But Alptekin acknowledged that he has attended events and met with leaders of the Turkish Heritage Organization, a Washington-based group of Turkish-Americans loyal to Erdogan. The organization was started when Zaikin asked a Washington-based international political consultant named John Moreira to help set it up, Moreira told POLITICO.

Asked why Zaikin — who is not Turkish and has no apparent ties to Turkey — would be organizing a Turkish heritage organization, Moreira said he thought Zaikin had Turkish friends and business associates.

“I don’t know who David was working for. He just asked me to do this,” Moreira said.

Moreira said he was paid to help manage the heritage organization but would not say by whom.

Moreira said he gave Zaikin weekly updates on the organization’s activities and that Zaikin visited Washington about every other month. On at least one occasion, Alptekin, who was born in Turkey and grew up in the Netherlands, met with communications consultants working for the Turkish Heritage Organization, he said.

But three people with direct knowledge of the situation said it was more than just one meeting; Zaikin and Alptekin worked together to help coordinate pro-Turkish lobbying.

For his part, Zaikin said, “I introduced [the Turkish Heritage Organization] to a few companies who I believed were industry professionals in good standing. I was present at a few meetings.”

Zaikin, 49, was born in Ukraine and grew up as a citizen of the Soviet Union. He said in emails that doctors excused him from the Soviet military draft because of an injury, and that his family left the Soviet Union in 1990. He subsequently became a Canadian citizen and now lives in London.

In the 2000s, Zaikin was an executive in Russia’s oil industry at a time when Putin was consolidating control over the country’s mineral wealth to the financial benefit of himself and the circle of oligarchs who are his key supporters and associates.

As chairman and CEO of a company called Siberian Energy Group, Zaikin obtained mineral interests and exploration licenses in Russia’s Kurgan province, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Siberian Energy Group’s dealings under Zaikin were characteristic of the equity trades, offshore financing schemes and consulting agreements that Putin’s allies have used to protect and hide assets.

In 2008, Zaikin made a deal with an ex-KGB oligarch involved in the giant state oil company Gazprom. Zaikin’s company sold the oligarch a 2.5 percent stake in a subsidiary, known as KNG, for shares worth $10, equivalent to valuing the entire subsidiary at $400, according to SEC disclosures. That came less than two years after Zaikin’s company bought KNG for the equivalent of $2.7 million.

The same month as the deal with the oligarch, Zaikin’s company issued shares to a limited liability company in Moscow called Business Standard. In 2007, Zaikin’s company agreed to pay the firm thousands more shares in exchange for what the contract called “certain consulting services,” including help in obtaining oil and gas drilling licenses from the Russian government.

Zaikin was also a director of a subsidiary called Zauralneftegaz that explored for oil and gas in West Siberia. The company was in part controlled by shell companies set up by a London law firm involved in the Panama Papers, the massive leak of records from an offshore finance law firm that showed how Putin associates secretly moved around $2 billion in assets.

Alptekin has had his own business dealings in Russia.

As a partner in an investment group called ETIRC as early as 2006, Alptekin bought a stake in a New Mexico jet manufacturer called Eclipse Aviation. In September 2008, Eclipse announced plans to build a $205 million factory in Russia financed by Russian state bank Vnesheconombank, whose board was chaired by Putin, then prime minister. A photo in the trade press showed Putin personally inspecting one of Eclipse’s jets.

But a month later, Eclipse filed for bankruptcy protection. Alptekin and his partners planned to buy out the company with financing from the Putin-chaired bank. Putin was personally involved in approving a loan from the bank to Eclipse, according to court records.

“The Eclipse project is one of the top priority to be funded and has been approved by Prime Minister Putin,” the minutes of an Eclipse board meeting Feb. 16, 2009, said, referring to ETIRC’s planned purchase of Eclipse.

But the funding apparently never materialized, and the sale didn’t go through. Instead, Alptekin and partners bought the old company’s assets for $40 million and formed a company called Eclipse Aerospace. When the company sought bankruptcy protection, it had declared assets valued at almost $1.1 billion.

“I think it was a good deal,” Alptekin said in his interview with POLITICO.

Alptekin acknowledged ETIRC’s negotiations with the bank chaired by Putin, but said he never interacted with any Russian officials. There are no Russians involved in the new company, he said.

Today, that company, known as EA Group, markets Eclipse jets in Turkey, Russia and the Middle East, according to its website. But Alptekin, in his POLITICO interview, said he lost the license to market the jets in Russia because he failed to sell any.

The company also has an arms-dealing division, focusing on Turkey and the Middle East. Alptekin said he sold video surveillance equipment for Turkish police helicopters and declined to discuss his other deals. He said the arms division isn’t active currently.

In his Justice Department filings, Flynn said the lobbying work he did for Alptekin focused on pressuring the U.S. to hand over Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania whom Erdogan claims is trying to overthrow him.

The lobbying work that Alptekin and Zaikin helped organize on behalf of Turkish groups also focused on Gulen.

Zaikin did not sign checks or contracts — the K Street firms were hired through the Turkish Heritage Organization and another nonprofit called the Turkish Institute for Progress, according to lobbying disclosure records. Zaikin also asked Moreira to help set up the Turkish Institute for Progress, Moreira said.

But the firms sometimes sent invoices to one of Zaikin’s companies, Key Elements Group in London, according to people with direct knowledge of the dealings. Zaikin dissolved the company in December, according to British corporate records.

The Turkish Institute for Progress’s president until December, a Turkish woman in New Jersey named Derya Taskin, initially denied knowing Zaikin. Later, she acknowledged hiring Moreira and knowing a “David” who worked with him.

Taskin declined to disclose the group’s donors. She said her organization’s nonprofit status was still pending approval so she could not provide an annual IRS filing.

Asked how she connected with the lobbying firms her group hired, Taskin said, “We just Googled them.” Later, she acknowledged that Moreira recommended the firms.

The Turkish Heritage Organization says it operates independently of the Turkish government and of the Turkish Institute for Progress. But emails hacked from Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak and published by WikiLeaks in December appear to show that the organization’s leaders reported to Albayrak and other Turkish officials about their lobbying activities in Washington. The emails, which were stolen by a Turkish Marxist group called RedHack, also appear to show Zaikin receiving reports of those lobbying activities.

In February 2015, Turkish Heritage Organization member Ali Cinar alerted Zaikin and the group’s other leaders to a congressional letter critical of Erdogan, according to one of the emails. The heritage organization’s president at the time, Halil Danismaz, forwarded the email to Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law, and Erdogan’s son Bilal.

Danismaz, who left the group and the U.S. last year, denied reporting to Albayrak and said Zaikin introduced the heritage organization to “companies who can help us on PR and similar issues."

“I have been a victim of massive defamation campaign sponsored by sophisticated GULEN owned infrastructure,” he said in an email to POLITICO.

Cinar, now the Turkish Heritage Organization’s president, confirmed the emails’ authenticity but said he wasn’t aware of Zaikin’s Russian ties or Danismaz’s apparent contacts with Turkish officials. He said Zaikin was a consultant to Danismaz.

“We don’t do lobbying for the Turkish government,” he said.

In another email from the same hack, Moreira, the American consultant who was working with Zaikin, updated Zaikin, Cinar and longtime Turkey lobbyist Lydia Borland about a congressional resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Danismaz told Erdogan’s son and son-in-law that the heritage organization would soon publicize its own resolution that their lobbyists were promoting to members of Congress. Moreira’s message included the original email signature from one of the lobbying firms working for the Turkish Institute for Progress.

Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law, was one of the Turkish officials who Alptekin arranged for Flynn to meet in New York in September, according to Flynn’s disclosures. They discussed kidnapping Gulen to remove him to Turkey, according to a person who was briefed on the meeting.
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/2 ... sia-237550
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:24 am

Pentagon warned Flynn in 2014 against taking foreign payments; IG launches investigation
By Manu Raju, Jim Sciutto and Tom LoBianco, CNN
Updated 10:07 AM ET, Thu April 27, 2017
Flynn warned in 2014 over foreign payments

(CNN)Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned by the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 against accepting foreign payments as he entered retirement, according to new documents obtained by the House oversight committee.

The inspector general of the Department of Defense also opened an investigation of Flynn earlier this month, according to an April 11 letter released by the oversight committee Thursday.
"These documents raise grave questions about why General Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon," said Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House oversight committee, in a statement. "Our next step is to get the documents we are seeking from the White House so we can complete our investigation. I thank the Department of Defense for providing us with unclassified versions of these documents."
RELATED: How Michael Flynn lost his job in 23 days
The news comes two days after Cummings and House oversight chairman Jason Chaffetz said Flynn may have broken the law by not disclosing payments he received from RT-TV, a station widely considered to be a propaganda arm of the Russian government.
Flynn's lawyer, Robert Kelner, had previously said that Flynn briefed the DIA on his speech to RT and the payments, but Cummings said Thursday that another document that was declassified this week shows no evidence to support that statement.
RELATED: The White House's decision-making on Michael Flynn is troubling
Flynn resigned from being Trump's national security adviser in February, after it was revealed he misled Vice President Mike Pence over conversations he had with with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak regarding sanctions. Before becoming his national security adviser, Flynn advised Trump's presidential campaign.
Flynn is just one component of at least four separate congressional investigations related to Russia's meddling in the US election last year. Flynn offered to speak with congressional investigators last month on the condition of being granted immunity from prosecution, an offer no committee has yet apparently taken Flynn up on.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/27/politics/ ... stigation/



Inspector general launches investigation of Michael Flynn over foreign payments
by Sinclair Broadcast GroupThursday, April 27th 2017

FILE - This Feb. 1, 2017, file photo shows then National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, joined by K.T. McFarland, deputy national security adviser, during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

AA
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) — The Department of Defense Inspector General’s Office has launched an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee revealed Thursday.
Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings released a letter from the inspector general to Chairman Jason Chaffetz confirming an investigation of whether Flynn received approval before accepting payments from foreign governments.
IG Ltr to Chaffetz on Flynn by Stephen Loiaconi on Scribd

Flynn, who left the Trump administration amid questions about his contacts with the Russian ambassador, has been accused of not disclosing foreign payments from Russia and Turkey, possibly violating federal law. Cummings also released documents indicating that Flynn was warned about payments from foreign sources in 2014.

Flynn has maintained that he did nothing illegal.
Democrats have accused the Trump White House of withholding documents relating to their vetting of Flynn. Press Secretary Sean Spicer indicated earlier this week that the administration does not have the records they are seeking.

Cummings released a copy of a declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document showing that the agency, which Flynn was director of from 2012 to 2014, has no records of Flynn notifying it of payments from foreign sources.
http://wjla.com/news/nation-world/repor ... hael-flynn


Carl Bernstein: Trump ‘Impeding’ Russia Investigations By Not Handing Over Flynn Docs
by Justin Baragona | 10:40 am, April 26th, 2017

According to a renowned journalist who was a key figure in helping to expose one of the biggest presidential scandals in American history, we are actively seeing the Trump administration engage in a cover-up. In addition, recent actions by the White House involving a former top advisor only strengthens his belief in that cover-up.

Appearing on CNN’s New Day, political commentator and Watergate legend Carl Bernstein took aim at President Donald Trump and his administration for rejecting a request from the House Oversight Committee to provide documents related to ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. The committee leaders have said Flynn may have broken the law over payments he received from Russian firms.

“Look, I think it’s obvious that General Flynn is in up to his neck in terms not just of possible crimes involving his speeches and whether or not he registered as a foreign agent, which he should have and didn’t there,” Bernstein stated. “He is central to what the FBI believes is a cover-up going on among people close to the United States — to the President of the United States.”

Pointing out that Flynn is like a spool of yarn that is getting unspooled when it comes to the Russia/Trump investigations, the Washington Post veteran said straight up that Trump is blocking investigators from making progress.

“He is impeding,” he noted. “The president is impeding these investigations by not turning over and saying to his people, ‘Give all those records about Flynn to the FBI. Give them to the congressional investigators.'”

Bernstein has been insisting of late that the FBI seriously believes there is an “active cover-up” going on regarding Russia/Trump collusion.
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/carl-bernste ... lynn-docs/



UH OH
Michael Flynn Hid $33,000 Russian Payday From Feds, Officials Say
He didn’t ask permission before Putin’s propaganda network RT paid him in 2015, new documents show, and he didn’t disclose it afterwards.

LACHLAN MARKAY
04.27.17 10:07 AM ET
U.S. officials have no record of former Michael Flynn seeking legally required permissions for a payment from the Russian government shortly after he retired from the Army, congressional investigators revealed on Thursday.
Documents released by the House Oversight Committee show that the Defense Intelligence Agency, which Flynn directed before joining the White House in January, has no record of him disclosing a five-figure payment from state-sponsored Russian broadcaster Russia Today for a speech Flynn gave at the network’s tenth anniversary gala in late 2015. Months later Flynn joined Donald Trump’s presidential campaign as an adviser and was served briefly as National Security Adviser before he was fired in February.
Financial disclosure documents released by the White House early this month showed that Flynn had initially failed to inform federal ethics officials of the $33,750 payment after taking his White House post.
If he also failed to inform DIA of that payment, Flynn likely ran afoul of federal laws requiring former government officials to seek approval from the State Department and the agencies that once employed them before accepting a payment from a foreign government.
“These documents raise grave questions about why General Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said in a Thursday statement.
Flynn’s attorney Rob Kelner said this week that Flynn had informed DIA that he would travel to Moscow for the RT event, but would not say whether he had disclosed his payment for speaking at it.
Kelner did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the documents released on Thursday.
Those documents appear to show that the payment itself was not disclosed.
“DIA did not locate any records referring or relating to LTG Flynn’s receipt of money from a foreign source” or “seeking permission or approval for the receipt of money from a foreign source,” the documents state.
Flynn’s foreign payments are currently the subject of an investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general, according to additional documents released by the oversight committee.
Those documents also show that Flynn was explicitly reminded to seek permission from his former federal employers before seeking or accepting foreign government payments. He “was advised of the legal restrictions concerning foreign compensation and instructed to report any potential receipt of compensation in advance,” according to the DIA letter.
The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution “prohibits receipt of consulting fees, gifts, travel expenses, honoraria, or salary by all retired military personnel, officer and enlisted, regular and reserve, from a foreign government unless congressional consent is first obtained,” DIA told Flynn after his resignation.

The White House has refused to provide the oversight committee with documents relating to Flynn’s brief employment, including a questionnaire in his security clearance application that required him to disclose foreign government payments.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Tuesday that the committee’s request for Flynn’s communications with foreign governments was too voluminous to satisfy. The Pentagon had already provided the questionnaire regarding foreign government payments, he said.
Other documents, Spicer insisted, “the White House can't provide because of its sensitive nature.”
In a press conference announcing the document release on Thursday, Cummings said that the committee has reviewed additional information that raises further concerns about Flynn’s foreign government payments.
That information, Cummings said, “remain under lock and key for now.” He urged the White House “to declassify them so the American public can see them for themselves.”
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... icials-say
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:54 am

Trump transition team *did* perform a background check on Flynn & still selected him as Nat'l Sec Advisor.


and Trump....Pence.....Sessions and are LYING ABOUT THAT

Trump team WAS aware of Flynn's business ties to Turkey and they hired him anyway

Image

General Yellowkerk and the official White House Nazi
Image


grand juries underway on multiple Trump-Russia conspirators, indictments expected
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby stillrobertpaulsen » Tue May 02, 2017 6:00 pm

May 2, 5:25 PM EDT

AP source: Yates to testify on warning White House on Flynn

By ERIC TUCKER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former acting attorney general Sally Yates is expected to testify to Congress next week that she warned the White House that President Donald Trump's national security adviser's contacts with the Russian ambassador could leave him compromised.

That's according to a person who's been briefed on that Jan. 26 conversation about Michael Flynn and who is knowledgeable about Yates's plans for her testimony Monday.

The person says Yates will testify she alerted White House counsel Don McGahn about discrepancies between the administration's statements on Flynn's contact with the ambassador and what really transpired. The White House fired Flynn weeks later after concluding that he had misled them about his conversation.

Yates is to appear before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee. It will be her first public account of her White House conversation.
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu May 04, 2017 10:00 pm

REVEALED: Mike Flynn’s assistant ran secret social media operation — and results were reported to Bannon
Sarah K. Burris SARAH K. BURRIS
04 MAY 2017 AT 20:55 ET

A friend and associate of Ret. Lt. Gen Michael Flynn worked on two major projects for the former national security advisor and one of them might result in him being called into testifying at a hearing.

According to a Washington Post investigative report, Jon Iadonisi used one of his companies to help Flynn with an investigation on behalf of a Turkish government ally. At the same time, Iadonisi was doing work for the Trump campaign. According to a source familiar with the arrangement, he was tasked with managing a key social media project.

Trump’s FEC reports reveal he paid $200,000 on Dec. 5 to Colt Ventures, a Dallas venture-capital firm that listed Iadonisi’s company VizSense as a client after The Post called to inquire. Colt Ventures was founded by Darren Blanton, who met frequently with Steve Bannon while Bannon was working for the Trump campaign. However, a White House official claimed that Bannon is “not aware of any of these companies or contracts.” Yet, a person familiar with the matter said that Colt Ventures personally provided Bannon with a report that detailed the work they’d done for the campaign.

Trump campaign ED Michael Glassner said that Colt Ventures was paid for a social media project that involved “millennial engagement” through video content in the final month of the campaign. However, the payment went to the venture capital firm and not to VizSense for the digital work. Also, VizSense isn’t located in Dallas where Cold Ventures is, They office out of an Alexandria, VA office suite that was once shared by the Flynn Intel Group.

It’s typical for political consultants and vendors to hire people to manage specific projects, but it is illegal for a campaign to avoid disclosure by paying a company that has nothing to do with the recipient of the cash, the FEC’s former general counsel and head of enforcement told The Post.

“A venture-capital company is certainly a strange entity for a campaign to be making an expenditure to, and I would want to look further to assess whether it was it an appropriate recipient,” campaign-finance lawyer Daniel Petalas explained.

Iadonisi’s online biography says that he worked with the CIA as a Navy SEAL and he has close ties to Flynn, whom he served with in Iraq. Flynn even endorsed Iadonisi’s work on LinkedIn as “one of the best problem solvers I have ever worked with” and “an incredible asset for any organization.” VizSense’s Twitter account promoted Flynn in December, saying that he would “construct an NSC that is custom build for what America needs to be first!”

Flynn is being investigated by the Defense Department for payments he scored from Inovo, a Netherlands-based company owned by Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish-American businessman who has close ties to top officials in Turkey. He was tasked by Alptekin to investigate Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic cleric who fled Turkey after an allegedly failed coup attempt. Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants Gulen extradited back to Turkey.

That work was reportedly done by Tim Newberry who served as a submarine officer with Iadonisi, according to his LinkedIn page. Newberry and Iadonisi founded VizSense together in 2015 and he listed Flynn’s company as an employer for a short time. Newberry was also the chief executive of White Canvas Group, which Flynn and Iadonisi’s companies rented office space from in Virginia.
https://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/reveal ... to-bannon/
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 05, 2017 8:46 pm

Trump transition raised flags about Flynn Russia contacts


WASHINGTON (AP) — In late November, a member of Donald Trump’s transition team approached national security officials in the Obama White House with a curious request: Could the incoming team get a copy of the classified CIA profile on Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States?

Marshall Billingslea, a former Pentagon and NATO official, wanted the information for his boss, Michael Flynn, who had been tapped by Trump to serve as White House national security adviser. Billingslea knew Flynn would be speaking to Kislyak, according to two former Obama administration officials, and seemed concerned Flynn did not fully understand he was dealing with a man rumored to have ties to Russian intelligence agencies.

To the Obama White House, Billingslea’s concerns were startling: a member of Trump’s own team suggesting the incoming Trump administration might be in over its head in dealing with an adversary.

The request now stands out as a warning signal for Obama officials who would soon see Flynn’s contacts with the Russian spiral into a controversy that would cost him his job and lead to a series of shocking accusations hurled by Trump against his predecessor’s administration.

In the following weeks, the Obama White House would grow deeply distrustful of Trump’s dealing with the Kremlin and anxious about his team’s ties. The concern — compounded by surge of new intelligence, including evidence of multiple calls, texts and at least one in-person meeting between Flynn and Kislyak — would eventually grow so great Obama advisers delayed telling Trump’s team about plans to punish Russia for its election meddling. Obama officials worried the incoming administration might tip off Moscow, according to one Obama adviser.

The Trump White House declined to comment.

This account of the closing days of the Obama administration is based on interviews with 11 current and former U.S. officials, including seven with key roles in the Obama administration. The officials reveal an administration gripped by mounting anxiety over Russia’s election meddling and racing to grasp the Trump team’s possible involvement before exiting the White House. Most of the officials spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive national security information.

The Obama White House’s role in the Russia controversy will come under fresh scrutiny Monday. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates are slated to testify before lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, one of three committees investigating Trump’s associates links to Moscow.

Trump has said he has no nefarious ties to Russia and isn’t aware of any involvement by his aides in Moscow’s interference in the election. He’s dismissed an FBI and congressional investigations into his campaign’s possible ties to the election meddling as a “hoax” driven by Democrats bitter over losing the White House.

Yates, an Obama administration official who carried over into the Trump administration, is expected to tell lawmakers that she expressed alarm to the Trump White House about Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador. Trump fired Yates days later, after she told the Justice Department to not enforce the new president’s travel and immigration ban. Flynn was forced to resign three weeks later for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about the content of his discussions with Kislyak.

Yates’s warnings about Flynn in January capped weeks of building concern among top Obama officials. The president himself that month told one of his closest advisers that the FBI, which by then had been investigating Trump associates’ possible ties to Russia for about six months, seemed particularly focused on Flynn.

Obama aides described Flynn as notably dismissive of the threat Russia posed to the United States when discussing policy in transition meetings with outgoing national security adviser Susan Rice and other top officials.

Officials also found it curious that Billingslea only ever asked Obama’s National Security Council for one classified leadership profile to give to Flynn: the internal document on Kislyak.

The CIA compiles classified biographies of foreign officials, known as leadership profiles. The profiles include U.S. intelligence assessments about the officials, in addition to biographical information.

When reached by the AP, Billingslea refused to comment. Last month, Trump announced his intention to nominate Billingslea to serve as assistant secretary for terrorist financing at the Treasury Department.

Trump has accused Obama officials of illegally leaking classified information about Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak. He’s also contended, without evidence, that Rice asked for the names of Trump officials caught up in routine intelligence monitoring to be improperly revealed, a charge Rice has denied.

The distrust in the other camp was clear months earlier. In late December, as the White House prepared to levy sanctions and oust Russians living in the in the U.S. in retaliation for the hacks, Obama officials did not brief the Trump team on the decision until shortly before it was announced publicly. The timing was chosen in part because they feared the transition team might give Moscow lead time to clear information out of two compounds the U.S. was shuttering, one official said.

While it’s not inappropriate for someone in Flynn’s position to have contact with a diplomat, Obama officials said the frequency of his discussions raised enough red flags that aides discussed the possibility Trump was trying to establish a one-to-one line of communication — a so-called back channel — with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obama aides say they never determined why Flynn was in close contact with the ambassador.

Even with the suspicion, the officials said they did not withhold information.

The outgoing White House also became concerned about the Trump team’s handling of classified information. After learning that highly sensitive documents from a secure room at the transition’s Washington headquarters were being copied and removed from the facility, Obama’s national security team decided to only allow the transition officials to view some information at the White House, including documents on the government’s contingency plans for crises.

Some White House advisers now privately concede that the administration moved too slowly during the election to publicly blame Russia for the hack and explore possible ties to the Trump campaign. Others say it was only after the election, once Obama ordered a comprehensive review of the election interference, that the full scope of Russia’s interference and potential Trump ties become clearer.
https://apnews.com/b109774705594ae887a8 ... a-contacts



Flynn was warned by Trump transition officials about contacts with Russian ambassador

Then-national security adviser Michael Flynn arrives to deliver a statement during the daily briefing at the White House on Feb. 1, 2017. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)
By Greg Miller and Adam Entous May 5 at 7:12 PM
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned by senior members of President Trump’s transition team about the risks of his contacts with the Russian ambassador weeks before the December call that led to Flynn’s forced resignation, current and former U.S. officials said.

Flynn was told during a late November meeting that Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s conversations were almost certainly being monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies, officials said, a caution that came a month before Flynn was recorded discussing U.S. sanctions against Russia with Kislyak, suggesting that the Trump administration would reevaluate the issue.

Officials were so concerned that Flynn did not fully understand the motives of the Russian ambassador that the head of Trump’s national security council transition team asked Obama administration officials for a classified CIA profile of Kislyak, officials said. The document was delivered within days, officials said, but it is not clear that Flynn ever read it.

The previously undisclosed sequence reveals the extent to which even some Trump insiders were troubled by the still-forming administration’s entanglements with Russia and its enthusiasm for a friendly relationship with the Kremlin.

The failed efforts to intervene with Flynn also cast harsh new light on a national security adviser who lasted just 24 days on the job before revelations about his discussions with Kislyak — and misleading accounts of them — forced him to resign.

Image
Team Trump’s ties to Russian interests VIEW GRAPHIC
Robert Kelner, a lawyer for Flynn, declined to comment.

Providing the Kislyak bio was seen by Obama officials as part of an effort “to make sure the new team had a full appreciation of the extent of the threat from Russia,” a former U.S. official said.

The perceived need to impress this point upon Flynn added to the growing concerns among senior members of the Obama administration, who at the time were still coming to grips with the scale of Russian interference in the 2016 election and were worried that any punitive measures they imposed might be rescinded when Trump was sworn in.

The request for the Kislyak document came from Marshall Billingslea, a former senior Pentagon official in the George W. Bush administration who led Trump’s national security transition team from November until shortly before Trump’s inauguration.

Billingslea, who declined requests for comment, was nominated this week for a high-level position in the Treasury Department overseeing efforts to disrupt terrorist financing.

A former deputy undersecretary of the Navy, Billingslea was among a small group of experienced national security hands on the Trump transition whose entrenched skepticism toward Russia seemed at odds with the pro-Moscow impulses of Flynn and the incoming president, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Trump personnel and ­decision-making.

Others included Samantha Ravich, a deputy national security adviser to Vice President Richard B. Cheney; and Christopher Ford, a former State Department official who now works as a special assistant on counterproliferation issues in the Trump White House.

Pentagon watchdog probes Flynn over foreign payments Play Video1:44
The Pentagon's inspector general launched an investigation into Gen. Michael Flynn over payments he accepted from foreign governments. The revelation came on April 27, when House Democrats released a letter sent from Defense Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine to the House Oversight Committee. (Reuters)
Ravich declined to comment. A spokesman for the National Security Council did not respond to requests for comment from Ford.

The Trump administration has taken a harsher tone toward Russia in recent weeks after the ­Syrian government, which is backed by Moscow, used chemical weapons on civilians. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last month accused Russia of being “incompetent or complicit” in the attack, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo described Russian President Vladi­mir Putin as “a man for whom ‘veracity’ doesn’t translate.”

But Trump has pointedly refused to employ such language himself and this week renewed his skepticism that Russia was responsible for a hacking and propaganda campaign targeting last year’s presidential race — a position held by the president that is at odds with the unanimous view of U.S. intelligence agencies.

Asked during a recent CBS interview whether he believed the allegations of Russian meddling, Trump said, “I’ll go along with Russia. Could’ve been China, could’ve been a lot of different groups.”

The unusual steps taken by transition officials working with Flynn suggest that internal tensions over Russia began almost immediately after Trump’s victory in an election that Moscow sought to help him win, according to a declassified report from U.S. intelligence agencies.

Billingslea was selected in early November to head the effort to assemble a national security team for Trump in Washington, leading a “landing team” that was based in offices at the General Services Administration headquarters but also had space in the Old Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House.

The effort was hampered by confusion in the election’s aftermath, friction among factions competing for influence with Trump, and communication difficulties created by an arrangement in which the landing team was based in Washington but Flynn and his deputy, K.T. McFarland, spent almost all of their time at Trump Tower in New York.

In an attempt to improve coordination, the group scheduled a November meeting in Washington, a session attended by Flynn as well as about a dozen aides and staff members from other departments, officials said. Others also participated by phone.

As Flynn went through his upcoming appointments, he mentioned that he was being inundated with requests for meetings from diplomats. Most would have to wait to get access to Trump’s designated national security adviser, a position that would give Flynn enormous influence in the White House. Flynn then revealed that he’d already scheduled a conversation with Kislyak.

Meetings with foreign counterparts are commonplace for incoming national security advisers. But the reference to Kislyak raised eyebrows among officials who had spent much of their careers treating Russia as an adversary and avoiding encounters with Russian officials who might be engaged in espionage.

Several also worried that engaging with Kislyak, even if appropriate, had only political downsides for Trump, whose effusive praise of Putin during the campaign had fanned suspicion about his associates’ ties to Moscow.

Billingslea warned Flynn that Kislyak was likely a target of U.S. surveillance and that his communications — whether with U.S. persons or superiors in Moscow — were undoubtedly being monitored by the FBI and National Security Agency, according to officials familiar with the exchange. Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general who led the Defense Intelligence Agency, would presumably have been aware of such surveillance.

Billingslea then said that he would obtain a copy of the profile of Kislyak, officials said, a document that Billingslea urged Flynn to read if he were going to communicate with the Russian envoy. Flynn’s reaction was noncommittal, officials said, neither objecting to the feedback nor signaling agreement.

Shortly thereafter, during the week of Nov. 28, Billingslea and other transition officials met with lower-level Obama administration officials in the Situation Room at the White House.

At the end of the meeting, which covered a range of subjects, Billingslea asked for the CIA profile. “Can we get material on Kislyak?” one recalled Billingslea asking.

Days later, Flynn took part in a meeting with Kislyak at Trump Tower. White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks has confirmed that both Flynn and Jared Kushner, Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, took part in that session, which was not publicly disclosed at the time.

It’s not clear whether the Kislyak profile was shared before that meeting. Flynn continued to communicate with Kislyak, however, exchanging text messages and cellphone calls, culminating in a conversation intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies just as the Obama administration was announcing election-related sanctions on Russia.

The Dec. 29 measures included the expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies, the closure of two Russian compounds, in Maryland and New York, and economic sanctions against Russian intelligence services and officials.

Kislyak would have been keenly interested in whether the Trump administration, just weeks from taking office, intended to enforce these measures. After denying for weeks that he had discussed the sanctions with Kislyak, Flynn altered his story in early February when told that The Washington Post planned to publish a story saying he had done so, citing multiple sources familiar with the contents of the Kislyak call.

Flynn was forced to resign days later and may face other consequences for his dealings with Russia. The FBI has interviewed Flynn about the conversations with Kislyak. Flynn is also under investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general over $45,000 he accepted for appearing at a 2015 event in Russia and $530,000 his former consulting firm was paid for work tied to the Turkish government.

The CIA bio on Kislyak was placed in a room in the Trump transition offices set up to handle classified material. Officials familiar with the document said that even if Flynn had read it, there was little in it that would have triggered alarms.

The file spanned three or four pages, describing Kislyak’s diplomatic career, extensive involvement in arms negotiations, and reputation as a determined proponent of Russian interests. It noted that he routinely reported information back to Moscow and that any information he gathered would be shared with Russia’s intelligence services. But the file did not say Kislyak was a spy.

During Flynn’s fleeting tenure as national security adviser, he had several follow-on conversations with Kislyak, and at one point Flynn proposed a lunch, officials said. The Russian Embassy called repeatedly to collect on that offer, officials said, until Flynn was fired and the calls stopped.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/na ... 450c0cf12f



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJdd53Y9RZE

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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun May 07, 2017 2:11 pm

Think about it. Trump was flying solo with Flynn for pretty much the entire campaign. If you were them, you’d be worried too.



Why They’re So Scared About Mike Flynn
Image
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, conducts a roundtable discussion on national security in his offices in Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. Left is Ret. Army Gen. Mike Flynn and right is Ret. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/AP
By JOSH MARSHALL Published MAY 7, 2017 10:58 AM
11703Views
Yesterday stories appeared from The Washington Post and The Associated Press each describing new revelations about disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. The two stories have slightly different emphases and appear to rely on slightly different sourcing. But the gist of the story is the same: During the Trump transition and indeed even before Flynn’s late December calls with Russian Ambassador Kislyak which led to his forced resignation, Trump Transition officials were concerned about the extent of Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials.

The concerns were so great that one Trump Transition official, Marshall Billingslea, the head of the foreign policy Transition team, went so far as to request Obama officials provide a copy of the CIA’s classified report on Kislyak so he could give it to Flynn.

This part of the story is rather ambiguous.

On the surface, both stories suggest that Billingslea wanted Flynn to be fully aware of who he was dealing with – Kislyak’s motives, his possible ties to Russian spy agencies and, secondarily, the political optics of such communications. Separately, transition officials warned Flynn that Kislyak’s communications (and thus his communications if he spoke to Kislyak) were almost certainly being monitored by American spy agencies. So Flynn should bear that in mind.

This is hard to take altogether seriously.

Flynn headed one of America’s largest and most hard power focused spy agencies, the Defense Intelligence Agency. He’s a career Army intelligence officer. The idea that he’d need to be warned about who the Russians are or who the Russian ambassador is seems preposterous. More than one person has noted to me that Flynn’s reputation in Army intelligence circles was based on operational work. He ran impressive intelligence collection operations in Iraq – running missions in which he upped the speed at which intelligence collected in raids was put to use in follow-up raids, thus increasing the impact of that knowledge acquired.

This ground level expertise is not that the same as broader geopolitical thinking or strategy. But c’mon. It’s the Russian Ambassador. The idea that Flynn was that green just doesn’t add up. Perhaps this was more an effort to warn him off bad ideas than tell him something he didn’t know. Who knows?

But there’s a backstory that is either implicit or unstated in both stories which I think is critical to understanding the full story.

The aim of the people providing these accounts is clearly to point a finger at Flynn and also note that Trump officials themselves were concerned about it. But what is clear from both stories is that the officials in question were not people from the campaign. They were more experienced Republican foreign policy and national security hands who got involved immediately after Trump was elected. Perhaps some of them had some connection to the campaign. But broadly speaking you’re talking about an entirely different cadre of people who had little or nothing to do with the campaign.



The key thing is that for most of the campaign, certainly the most critical months from early Spring through November, when it came to national security Michael Flynn was the campaign. He was basically it. Not only was he Trump’s sole major foreign policy and national security advisor. Unlike others who have had such a role in the past, Flynn traveled frequently with Trump on the campaign trail and actually featured as a speaker in numerous rallies. In the late Spring and early Summer he even was seriously discussed as a potential running mate. His influence and contact were deep and pervasive.

Why did Flynn continue his on-going contacts with Kislyak after people on the transition warned him off the idea and pressed him on the fact that calls with Kislyak were almost certainly being monitored? The only plausible answer is that Flynn simply didn’t care. And in a sense, why should he have? From his perspective – and not altogether implausibly – in mere weeks everyone who might be monitoring him or be in a position to stand in his way would be working for him.

But here’s the really important thing. We don’t know yet quite what Flynn’s game was – reckless, stupid, crooked or operating with some darker agenda? Trump meanwhile was almost totally ignorant of the most rudimentary knowledge of security and foreign policy. He is also notorious for believing and saying whatever he heard from the last person he talked to.

Let’s assume for the moment the Mr Magoo version of the Trump campaign and presidency (not at all implausible): ignorant, gullible, angry, reckless.

These were months when Flynn was carrying on conversations with the Russian Ambassador; he was acting as a paid foreign agent working on behalf of the Republic of Turkey; he was discussing plans to abduct a US permanent resident and deliver him back to Turkey; he was being paid by a Turkish-American businessman who also had ties back to Russia. On the most generous view, the mix of Flynn’s recklessness and corruption and Trump’s impulsiveness and gullibility leave a high, high probability that Flynn involved Trump in his nonsense.

What we see described in these articles is establishment professionals coming into the campaign just after the election and finding what they clearly saw as a disturbing situation – one which they attempted to rein in or clean up. It seems to have had little effect in the short-run but was likely part of process that ended in Flynn’s ouster less than a month after Trump’s inauguration. But the better part of a year had already passed when Flynn was figuratively and often literally alone with Trump and operating entirely on his own. He was the one with Trump’s ear during the failed Turkish coup, Trump’s repeated attacks on NATO and comments about Putin, during the entirety of the hacking and Russian election interference campaign and Trump’s frequent statements of support of the same. They could start cleaning things up going forward. But a lot had already happened. They couldn’t do anything about that. They probably had little way of finding out even what had happened. That probably generated a lot of anxiety and rightly so. As I argued back in March, sometimes you cover up not because you know you’re guilty but because you actually don’t know whether you are or not.

Think about it. Trump was flying solo with Flynn for pretty much the entire campaign. If you were them, you’d be worried too.
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/why ... mike-flynn
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon May 08, 2017 1:08 pm

Barack Obama 'personally warned Donald Trump not to hire Michael Flynn'
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... um=twitter
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed May 10, 2017 12:13 pm

A Long, Comprehensive List of the Allegations Against Mike Flynn
Mike Pearl
MIKE PEARL
May 10 2017, 10:45am

The former national security adviser has a lot of explaining to do.

In the chaotic aftermath of FBI director James Comey's abrupt firing on Tuesday, politicians and the rest of the DC apparatus rushed about in a flurry of statements and justifications. But the controversy supposedly at the heart of Comey's conflict with Donald Trump—the investigations into potential connections between Trump's 2016 campaign and the Russian operatives who engaged in anti–Hillary Clinton hacking—remained hanging over it all. And one of the figures at the center of those investigations is Michael Flynn.

Flynn was the national security adviser under Trump until he resigned in disgrace after lying to Vice President Mike Pence and others about his post-election conversations with a Russian ambassador. But there are still questions about Flynn's conduct and why the White House didn't fire him immediately after learning about his deception. The retired general remained on the minds of many in DC after Comey's firing. Congressman Elijah Cummings, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a statement noting, "The White House was already covering up for Michael Flynn by refusing to provide a single document to Congress."

There are other individuals reportedly being investigated, including former Trump adviser Carter Page, but Flynn has by far the highest profile, and news of probes into his activities continues to trickle out. Just before Comey's firing, the office of the US Attorney in Alexandria, Virginia, sent subpoenas to some of Flynn's business associates demanding business records from Flynn's time as a lobbyist between 2014 and 2016 in an effort to sort out payments he had received from foreign governments.

The allegations against Flynn have become convoluted at this point and involve more than just Russia. To help sort out the ongoing controversy, here's a timeline of how Flynn got into hot water:

2014: His "chaotic" management style got him fired from the DIA

In the Obama administration, Flynn rose to become the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which is the military's version of the CIA. That was the capstone of a career that included a stint as intelligence director of Joint Special Operations Command, which is in charge of elite military operations. But in 2014, Flynn was pushed out of the DIA over the course of several months, despite his own stated plan to resign the next year. According to a story in the Washington Post at the time, Flynn, who came into the DIA intending to reform the agency, ended up angering everyone. According to the Post, his "management style could be chaotic and that the scope of his plans met resistance from both superiors and subordinates."

He went on to found a lobbying firm, which will become important later.

2015: He trashed Barack Obama in public

In June 2015, Flynn was a witness at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing where a bunch of Republican congressmen were looking into President Obama's policies in the Middle East. In that forum, Flynn criticized the military leadership of his former boss several times, at one point saying one of the president's statements "stunned" him because it revealed the US's lack of a strategy against ISIS.

This is hardly a crime, but it was unusual for a general who had just left his post to turn around and denounce his former superiors. Peter Feaver, a military scholar who was one of many people critical of Flynn at the time, told Foreign Policy, "Retired military officials enjoy a privileged position in American society in part because they are viewed as professionals who have not been politicized."


December 2015: He had dinner with Vladimir Putin and got paid for it

In December 2015, Flynn gave a speech at a gala in honor of the ten-year anniversary of RT, a media outlet funded by the Russian government and usually regarded as a propaganda machine. Flynn ate dinner at the event sitting right next to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

This was a long time before Russia would be accused of influencing the 2016 election, and Flynn had not yet joined the Trump campaign in any capacity. But relations between the US and Russia were already trending down—a year before, Obama had placed sanctions on Russia in response to Russian military activity in eastern Ukraine. A former general showing up at a celebration of a Russian government mouthpiece was odd to say the least.

Even more concerning, Flynn was paid $45,000 to attend the event. As a retired Pentagon employee, accepting payment for the dinner may have violated the Constitution, Flynn's critics say—specifically the bit stating that "no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince or foreign State."

Also 2015: He got other payments from Russia interests

Before his dinner with Putin, Flynn had collected quite a bit of Russian money, including payment for two Washington, DC, events in July 2015—one for the Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab, and one for Volga-Dnepr Group, an American company owned by a Russian businessman.

2016: He also took Turkish money

By 2016, Flynn was known not just for criticizing Obama but for giving speeches denouncing Islam. That July, he took the podium at an event put on by ACT for America, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as "far and away the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in America." At the time, the Turkish military was attempting a coup against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; Flynn told the crowd the coup was a good thing because Turkey was moving "towards Islamism." The following month, according to the New York Times, a business linked to the Turkish government gave Flynn's lobbying firm a contract eventually worth $530,000.

Suddenly, Flynn's views on Turkey evolved. On November 8, Election Day, the Hill ran a pro-Erdoğan op-ed written by Flynn in which the former general criticized Obama's policy of "keeping Erdoğan's government at arm's length." (According to a note later appended to the op-ed, the Hill wasn't aware that Flynn was receiving money from Turkey when they published his piece.)

September 2016: He allegedly had a meeting about a Turkish dissident

According to former CIA director James Woolsey, while working as an unpaid adviser for Trump's campaign, Flynn took a meeting with Turkish government officials in September 2016 in his capacity as a consultant. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Fethullah Gulen, an Erdoğan opponent living in the US; Flynn had denounced Gulen in his Hill op-ed, and Erdoğan blamed Gulen for the attempted coup. Woolsey told CNN that there was talk of getting Gulen into Turkish hands somehow at this meeting—which sounds vaguely like kidnapping—but Flynn denies this.

2016: He was allegedly an unregistered foreign agent

The law requires Americans who do lobbying work for foreign governments to register with the Justice Department. Flynn's Turkey-related activities may have fallen under that category, but even though the contract his firm signed ended in November, he didn't fill out the necessary paperwork until after he was out of the administration. Being an unregistered foreign agent—admittedly a phrase that sounds more ominous than it is—is a felony, though it's rarely prosecuted. Flynn also failed to disclose the payment he got for the 2015 RT event. It's unclear whether the White House knew about his lobbying work.

December 2016: He communicated with the Russian ambassador, then lied about it

The conversations that led to Flynn's ouster are still mysterious—all we know about them is what anonymous officials have leaked to the press. But in December, during the transition between Obama and Trump, Flynn spoke to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and reportedly talked about the sanctions Obama had imposed on Russia in retaliation for interfering in the 2016 election. An obscure law called the Logan Act forbids private citizens from conducting diplomacy, and Flynn was technically nothing more than a private citizen before Trump took office—but no one has ever been charged with breaking that law, and Flynn might not have done anything illegal during his calls to Kislyak.

But Flynn went on to apparently mislead Vice President Pence about that conversation, and in January, Pence denied on TV that Flynn and Kislyak had talked about sanctions. Sally Yates, then the acting attorney general, told the White House that Flynn had in fact spoken about sanctions, but it wasn't until 18 days after her warning that the national security adviser was asked to step down—tellingly, after the Washington Post published a story about the incident. (This Tuesday, reporters asked White House press secretary Sean Spicer why the White House waited those 18 days, but Spicer wouldn't answer.)

2017: He may still be concealing some information about his finances

The investigation into Flynn is far from over: According to an Associated Press report out this week, Flynn and his former Turkish client dispute whether two $40,000 payments were for lobbying or not, raising yet more questions about his dealings. And whoever the next head of the FBI is, there will be lots of people working on finding out answers to those questions.
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/a-lo ... etwitterus
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 12, 2017 7:36 am

A Russian honeytrap for Gen Flynn? Not me...
By Gordon Corera
Security correspondent, BBC News
12 May 2017
Image
Svetlana LokhovaImage copyrightSVETLANA LOKHOVA
In today's Magazine

When Svetlana Lokhova saw the internet light up with suggestions she was a Russian spy, she initially thought it was a joke. But the Russian-born academic soon found herself, in her words, "collateral damage" in the controversies surrounding the Trump administration and the swirl of allegations about Russian espionage.
The claims revolved around her contact with Gen Michael Flynn in Cambridge in 2014. Flynn resigned after just 24 days as US National Security Adviser after allegations he had failed to be honest about contacts with the Russian Ambassador to the US during the transition to the Trump administration.
After his resignation in February, there were reports in the US and UK media about Lokhova, including the claim that Flynn's contact with Lokhova "troubled" US intelligence officials. On social media, the suggestion was that she was some kind of Russian spy or honeytrap.
Image
Michael FlynnImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image caption
Michael Flynn resigned as President Trump's National Security Adviser after just 23 days
"Are you a Russian spy?" I begin by asking her. "Absolutely not," she replies. "I have no formal or informal connection with Russian intelligence whatsoever."
She acknowledges that the cynical will respond: "She would say that wouldn't she" - which has left her in what she describes as a "Kafkaesque situation"'.
The context of the story, she acknowledges, was part of the problem. She is female, originally from Russia and linked to Cambridge, home of the famous Cambridge spy ring recruited by the KGB in the 1930s.
"There is a sad irony that someone who is writing about Cambridge traitors ended up being painted as one herself," she says.
The story begins with a dinner in February 2014 in Cambridge. The dinner was organised by Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6 and then master of Pembroke College, who was starting up an organisation called the Cambridge Security Initiative (CSI). Also involved was Christopher Andrew, authorised historian of MI5 and a professor at Corpus Christi College.
Image
Corpus Christi college, CambridgeImage copyrightISTOCK
The guest of honour at the dinner - which had around a dozen or so attendees - was Flynn, then head of America's Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The aim was to build a relationship between CSI and DIA ahead of a conference the following year, says Lokhova.
"The hope by DIA was that by visiting top universities in Europe they would be able to spot people who would be able to help or assist their organisation," she says.
At the dinner she was seated a fair distance away from Flynn. After more senior officials had talked, junior members were asked to talk about their research.
As an expert on Soviet intelligence in the 1930s, Lokhova says she was asked to present some of her research. "The idea was that I would impress the DIA with the Cambridge pedigree of research."
Lokhova showed Flynn a 1912 postcard from Stalin to the fiancee of his best friend. The fiancee was helping Stalin obtain a fake passport to escape surveillance when he was an early revolutionary working against the Tsarist regime.
"The first reaction was that of amusement," Lokhova says. She translated the document and explained how it showed that Stalin was the most spied-upon leader in history as well as the one who later spied on people the most.
Image
Svetlana Lokhova
She says Flynn asked her to send the document to him. This was because he was expecting some senior officials visiting Washington from Russia. At this point, there was a move towards trying to increase co-operation with Russia in the field of counter-terrorism, as it had recently emerged that those involved in the 2013 Boston bombing had been known to the Russians.
Lokhova says both Flynn and his assistant provided their emails, looking forward to using the postcard to break the ice when the Russian officials arrived in Washington.
Claims she was asked to travel to Russia and act as his translator, Lokhova says, are not true. She says she exchanged some emails with Flynn and his assistant after the event, although Flynn soon after left the DIA, after reportedly being forced out. "We had maybe a few emails going backwards and forwards," Lokhova says. These included details of events at Cambridge.
She says Flynn was also interested in Russian espionage and she sent him a BBC story (written by myself, in which I had interviewed Lokhova) about a "sixth man" in the Cambridge spy ring.
"Gen Flynn replied to me saying how it is important to keep exposing espionage and making it accessible to not just intelligence officials but regular people."
US media claimed the problem for Flynn may have been that he should have declared his contact with Lokhova as a Russian. British media then followed up on the Cambridge connection saying that both the CIA and FBI were discussing this episode. A lawyer for Flynn declined to comment.
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Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago residence with Michael FlynnImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image caption
Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago residence with Michael Flynn
On social media and websites, people went further, saying that Lokhova was a Russian spy or agent targeting Flynn. That led to a flurry of further press interest and journalists outside her house and asking friends and neighbours if she was a spy. She moved out of her flat to avoid them.
She says the accusation that she recruited Flynn - under the eyes of a former head of MI6 and the official historian of MI5 - is ludicrous. "Apparently I managed to turn General Flynn in 15 minutes with a postcard which Josef Stalin sent in 1912," she says.
"If I did recruit Flynn that would have been one of the greatest - if not the greatest - Russian coup of all times. So it is utterly ridiculous, totally unbelievable. But, for some reason, the world today is such that people buy it."
Lokhova was born in Russia but took British citizenship soon after coming to the UK in 1998 (whilst retaining her Russian citizenship). "I am British and I have a British passport… If I were indeed a Russian spy that would make me a traitor… For me, it's very normal to have contact with current and former intelligence officials because of the field I am in," she says, denying reports she has any kind of "special access" to Russian intelligence archives. "It is absolutely not the case," she says.
More from the Magazine
Jack Barsky
Jack Barsky died in September 1955, at the age of 10, and was buried in the Mount Lebanon Cemetery in the suburbs of Washington DC. His name is on the passport of the man sitting before me now - a youthful 67-year-old East German, born Albert Dittrich. The passport is not a fake. (January 2017)
The KGB spy who lived the American dream
On the contrary, she says that because of her work with Prof Andrew, who has worked with defectors from the Soviet Union such as former KGB archivist Vasily Mitrokhin, who smuggled out its secrets, she is viewed with suspicion in Russia.
"In Britain, I am now being accused of being a Russian spy. In Russia, some think I am a British spy. And I am neither. I am just a historian who writes about an area that has become incredibly politicised."
"My life has been completely changed by this," says Lokhova, who gave birth to her first child just before the reports emerged this year.
She says she became worried about being followed and also nervous of speaking on the phone or meeting friends, unsure if they suspected her of being a spy. She had already been involved in a public row with her former employers - a Russian bank - against whom she won an employment tribunal and was clearly left bruised by the experience of being drawn into a spy row.
"I felt betrayed that suddenly I had been turned on in such a horrible way for… attending a dinner to help Western intelligence services understand Russia better."
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39863781


AP Exclusive: More inconsistencies in Flynn consulting work

11:40 AM Friday May 12, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) " Targeted in widening investigations of his foreign entanglements, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is at odds with his former Turkish client over two unusual payments totaling $80,000 that Flynn's firm sent back last year to the client.

The disagreement points to inconsistencies in Flynn's accounts to the U.S. government about his work for interests outside the United States.

Flynn's company, Flynn Intel Group, told the Justice Department in March that the two $40,000 payments were consulting fees for unspecified work. But Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin has told The Associated Press that the payments from Flynn's firm were refunds for unperformed lobbying.

The difference matters because Flynn's foreign business relationships and the veracity of his disclosures are under scrutiny by congressional, military and intelligence inquiries.

The Senate intelligence committee said late Wednesday it issued a subpoena to compel Flynn to turn over documents related to its investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election.

Flynn attorney Robert Kelner declined to comment on the newly issued subpoena.

Flynn had previously been in talks with the committee about agreeing to be interviewed as long as he was granted immunity.

In March, Kelner said in a statement that Flynn had a "story to tell," but said no reasonable person would agree to be questioned by the committee without "assurances against unfair prosecution."

Other congressional committees and the Pentagon's inspector general are separately examining whether Flynn was fully forthcoming about his foreign contacts and earnings from organizations linked to the governments of Russia and Turkey. His firm's Turkish work occurred while he was a top Trump campaign adviser.

Earlier in the week, on Monday, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told senators that Flynn's misstatements about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. raised concerns that Flynn could be targeted for blackmail. Yates also cited the possibility that Flynn could have broken federal law by operating as a paid foreign agent for the Turkish client without U.S. government permission.

The Senate intelligence committee said it had previously asked Flynn on April 28 to voluntarily turn over the records it requested, and Flynn declined.

The retired Army lieutenant general and former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency formally told the Justice Department in March that his now-defunct Flynn Intel Group was paid $530,000 for operating as a foreign agent for Alptekin's firm, Inovo BV, and performing work that could have benefited the Turkish government.

That filing, prompted by Justice Department pressure, came just weeks after Trump fired Flynn from his national security post. The president has said he made the decision after it became clear Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence about conversations with the Russian ambassador.

The paperwork Flynn filed with the Justice Department raised new questions because it cited two consulting payments back to Alptekin's company without specifying what, if any, work was performed.

Alptekin told the AP in an email that the payments were refunds guided by a verbal agreement he worked out last year with Flynn Intel that set out how much Flynn's firm was to receive each month for lobbying and other contractual work. When Alptekin didn't see any lobbying work, he said, he asked Flynn Intel to refund $80,000.

But Flynn's filing with the Justice Department did not disclose those discussions or the payment arrangements cited by Alptekin.

The U.S. foreign agent law requires disclosure of all written and verbal contracts and modifications. National security law experts said the failure to disclose such discussions could spur additional scrutiny of Flynn if Justice Department officials were to determine the missing material was legally significant.

The law "says disclosure has to include material fact and makes it a crime to omit such material," said Stephen I. Vladeck, a professor and national security law expert at the University of Texas School of Law.

Flynn's foreign agent filing included only one contract signed by Flynn and Alptekin. The contract did not mention any adjustments made verbally, Alptekin's lobbying demands, arranging for allotting payments or any consulting role for Alptekin's company, Inovo BV.

In the filing, Flynn's firm said the description of each payment back to Inovo as a "consultancy fee" came from the firm's accounting records. Similar "consultancy fee" entries described payments to other members of the team hired for the work.

Asked about the discrepancies between Alptekin's statements and the filing, Kelner said: "We'll stick with what's in the filing." Kelner declined to answer additional questions from the AP about the payment arrangement.

In a brief statement Tuesday, Alptekin again said the payments to his firm from Flynn Intel were refunds for unperformed work. Alptekin also suggested that Flynn Intel's description of the payments as consulting fees was an accounting error.

Flynn Intel's work last year centered on developing evidence for a criminal case against Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania. Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wants Gulen extradited because he believes Gulen inspired last year's attempted coup against him.

Flynn and Alptekin have, at times, provided inconsistent explanations of the work.

Alptekin said last fall that his company paid only tens of thousands of dollars, but later acknowledged that the $530,000 in payments listed in Flynn's foreign agent filing was correct.

Alptekin's contention that Flynn didn't carry out any lobbying also appears to conflict with Flynn's filing with the Justice Department since the firm reported lobbying activity. It registered with Congress as a lobbyist in September, and Flynn Intel and a contracted public relations firm disclosed lobbying a House committee and an Arkansas state official.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/ar ... d=11854447
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed May 17, 2017 7:40 pm

Then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his deputy, K.T. McFarland, watch the daily news briefing at the White House on Feb. 1, 2017. Flynn told the briefing that the administration was putting Iran “on notice” after Iran tested a ballistic missile. Carolyn Kaster AP
POLITICS & GOVERNMENT
MAY 17, 2017 6:27 PM
Flynn stopped military plan Turkey opposed – after being paid as its agent
BY VERA BERGENGRUEN
vbergengruen@mcclatchydc.com

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.

The decision came 10 days before Donald Trump had been sworn in as president, in a conversation with President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, who had explained the Pentagon’s plan to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa with Syrian Kurdish forces whom the Pentagon considered the U.S.’s most effective military partners. Obama’s national security team had decided to ask for Trump’s sign-off, since the plan would all but certainly be executed after Trump had become president.

Flynn didn’t hesitate. According to timelines distributed by members of Congress in the weeks since, Flynn told Rice to hold off, a move that would delay the military operation for months.

If Flynn explained his answer, that’s not recorded, and it’s not known whether he consulted anyone else on the transition team before rendering his verdict. But his position was consistent with the wishes of Turkey, which had long opposed the United States partnering with the Kurdish forces – and which was his undeclared client.

Trump eventually would approve the Raqqa plan, but not until weeks after Flynn had been fired.

[READ MORE: Trump will arm Syrian Kurds to fight ISIS, over Turkey’s fierce objections]

Now members of Congress, musing about the tangle of legal difficulties Flynn faces, cite that exchange with Rice as perhaps the most serious: acting on behalf of a foreign nation – from which he had received considerable cash – when making a military decision. Some members of Congress, in private conversations, have even used the word “treason” to describe Flynn’s intervention, though experts doubt that his actions qualify.

WE NEED TO ADJUST OUR FOREIGN POLICY TO RECOGNIZE TURKEY AS A PRIORITY. IN THIS CRISIS, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE REMEMBER WHO OUR REAL FRIENDS ARE.
Michael Flynn in an opinion piece for The Hill

But treason or not, Flynn’s rejection of a military operation that had been months in the making raises questions about what other key decisions he might have influenced during the slightly more than three weeks he was Trump’s national security adviser, and the months he was Trump’s primary campaign foreign-policy adviser.

Even three months after he was fired, for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about a call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, his role in the White House resonates.

With word that the president may have asked FBI Director James Comey to drop any criminal probe of Flynn – failure to register as a foreign agent is a federal crime – there is renewed focus on getting to the bottom of what Flynn did, and what Trump knew.

Despite the Trump administration’s attempts to downplay the red flags, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the administration was repeatedly warned about Flynn’s foreign involvement.

“This was a serious compromise situation that the Russians had real leverage,” former acting Attorney General Sally Yates said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer downplayed her warning about Flynn’s interactions with Russian officials as just “a heads up.”

Flynn’s actions were also the subject of discussion just last week at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on national security threats, with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., zeroing in on the 18 days that passed between Yates’ warning that Flynn might be subject to Russian blackmail and Flynn’s forced resignation.

“Blackmail, by an influential military official, that has real ramifications for global threat,” he said. “So this is not about a policy implication, this is about the national security adviser being vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.”

Flynn’s connections to Russia have been widely discussed. In 2015, he was paid more than $33,000 to speak at a gala dinner in Moscow where he was seated next to President Vladimir Putin. That alone may have exposed him to criminal charges: As a retired U.S. military officer, Flynn was required to seek permission to travel and to receive payment from a foreign entity, something the State Department and the Pentagon have told Congress he did not do.

But it is his paid work on Turkey’s behalf that offers the clearest evidence of his role as a foreign agent – and of his legal problems, since he did not declare his foreign agent status till weeks after he’d left the Trump administration.

After he was fired, Flynn disclosed work as foreign agent

It was a fact Flynn disclosed himself in a declaration to the Foreign Agent Registration Unit of the Justice Department in early March. According to Flynn’s paperwork, he was paid $530,000 for work that “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.” The contract ended last November.

Under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, U.S. citizens who lobby on behalf of foreign governments or political entities must disclose their work to the Justice Department within 10 days.

Ekim Alptekin, the Turkish businessman whose company paid Flynn, disputes that he was “taking directions from anyone in the government” of Turkey. But Flynn’s filing shows he set up a meeting with Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, and energy minister, Berat Albayrak, who is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, at a New York hotel last September.

As then-candidate Trump’s national security adviser, Flynn sat in on classified briefings in the summer and fall of 2016. According to the filing, he signed the contract with Alptekin’s firm on Aug. 9. Trump received his first classified intelligence briefing on Aug. 18 – a meeting that Flynn attended. As Trump’s national security adviser in the White House, Flynn had access to even more highly classified intelligence. He sat in on most, if not all, of Trump’s phone conversations and meetings with foreign leaders.

How much Trump knew about Flynn’s paid foreign-agent work is uncertain. When Flynn’s firm filed the Justice Department paperwork in March, the White House said Trump was unaware that Flynn had been paid to lobby on Turkey’s behalf. But Flynn’s lawyer has said he called Trump’s transition team before the inauguration, asking whether Flynn should register as a foreign agent.


When asked why the call had not been an obvious indication to act quickly, the White House tried to smooth it over by saying their legal counsel had considered it a private decision the transition team should not get involved in.

“No, it’s not a question of raising a red flag,” Spicer said at a news briefing. “It is not up to – nor is it appropriate, nor is it legal – for the government to start going into private citizens seeking advice and telling them what they have to register or not.”

Flynn’s lobbying work also involved a meeting on Oct. 27 with a representative of the House Homeland Security Committee, according to the filing.

Despite Alptekin’s denials that he had hired Flynn to lobby on behalf of the Turkish government, in an interview published in Hurriyet newspaper on Nov. 14 he said he had conversations with Trump officials about Syria.

“We have spoken with his advisers and security team to understand what their vision is for the Middle East and Syria,” Alptekin was quoted as saying. He said he was optimistic that the Trump administration would be more sympathetic to Turkish interests.

“It is not just that we were in disagreement with some Obama policies like Syria . . . (but) on the Trump side, we saw a willingness to look at these things differently,” he said.

The view from Ankara

Turkey has angrily objected to U.S. support of Syrian Kurdish fighters, arguing that to arm the YPG is to help a group that is carrying out attacks on a key ally and fellow NATO member. The YPG has ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, considered a terrorist group by Turkey as well as the U.S. and the European Union. However, the U.S.-led coalition considers the YPG the most effective military partner against ISIS in Syria.

Turkey has insisted that the only feasible option to retake the terrorist group’s capital of Raqqa is for its own forces to participate in the U.S.-led coalition. The promise has been viewed skeptically by the Pentagon, where it’s been dismissed as “Erdogan’s ghost army.”

The plan to arm the Kurdish fighters had been seven months in the making when it was presented to Flynn.

“Don’t approve it,” Flynn said, according to an account in The Washington Post that was included in a timeline prepared by the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. “We’ll make the decision.”

Whether Flynn consulted with anyone before making the decision is also unknown. The White House did not respond to questions about whether Trump or his secretary of defense nominee, Jim Mattis, signed off on the decision.

What is known is that a few days later, Flynn again met with Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, for a breakfast at which they discussed U.S.-Turkish interests, according to a copy of the invitation. Cavusoglu attended Trump’s inauguration.

After Trump made Flynn his national security adviser, there were high hopes in Ankara that the new administration would give in to Turkey’s wishes “since many of Turkey’s views overlap with the incoming president,” in the words of an article in the Daily Sabah, a pro-government newspaper. In interviews with visiting foreign journalists in March, Turkish officials repeatedly expressed optimism about working with the Trump administration after years of withering relations with the Obama administration.

Turkey would finally have someone who listened to the two things they wanted: to nix any plans of working with the YPG once and for all, and to extradite Fethulah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania. Erdogan’s government suspects Gulen and his followers of masterminding a failed coup attempt last July.

In the September meeting with Turkish officials, they discussed with Flynn how to remove Gulen without going through the extradition process, according to former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey.

The idea was “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away,” Woolsey told The Wall Street Journal.

In the disclosures filed by Flynn, the meeting was “for the purpose of understanding better the political climate in Turkey at the time.”

Flynn also wrote an opinion piece in The Hill on Election Day titled “Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support,” slamming the Obama administration for not taking Turkey’s Gulen concerns seriously. He described Gulen as a “shady Islamic mullah” he compared to Osama bin Laden.

“We need to adjust our foreign policy to recognize Turkey as a priority,” he wrote. “In this crisis, it is imperative that we remember who our real friends are.”

Asked about Flynn’s work for the Turkish government in an interview on March 9, the day the news broke of his Justice Department registration, Turkey’s justice minister just laughed.

It “wouldn’t be appropriate . . . to make any revelation,” Bekir Bozdag said through a translator.

In another indication of the close ties between the new administration and Turkey under Flynn, the Turkish-U.S. Business Council’s annual summit, which is chaired by Alptekin, moved its meeting to the Trump International Hotel in Washington this year. The summit, which is in its 36th year, had in previous years been at the Ritz-Carlton. The new location was announced the day before Flynn was fired.

Is it treason?

Treason is the only crime that is defined in the Constitution, where it’s described as levying war against the U.S. or “adhering to” an enemy – helping them, in other words. An enemy is a nation or organization against whom the U.S. has declared war, said Carlton Larson, a law professor at the University of California at Davis who specializes in treason.

While non-state actors like ISIS probably fit the definition, Flynn’s action not to support a specific group against them does not legally fit the bill, Larson said. Even at the height of the Cold War, when Julius and Ethel Rosenberg handed over nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union, they were tried and executed not for treason but for espionage.

[READ MORE: Democrats want to investigate if Flynn’s paid Russia speech violated Constitution]

However, given Flynn’s many connections to Russia and Turkey, with documented payments, Democrats have dusted off a chain of little-known ways he could have violated the Constitution.

In February they asked the Pentagon to look into whether he had violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause by accepting money for his 2015 Moscow speaking engagement at a gala marking the 10th anniversary of the state-owned RT television channel. The clause prohibits former military officers from accepting gifts from foreign governments without the approval of Congress.

After he was fired, many Democrats also pointed to the Logan Act, an obscure 1799 statute that bars private citizens from interfering with diplomatic relations between the U.S. and foreign governments.

MATTHEW SCHOFIELD CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.
http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-gov ... rylink=cpy



NEWS MAY 17 2017, 6:10 PM ET
Flynn, Manafort Are Key Figures In Russia Probe Mueller Will Lead
by TOM WINTER and KEN DILANIAN

Former Trump aides Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort have emerged as key figures in the FBI's investigation into Russian campaign interference, which has just been taken over by a special counsel, four law enforcement officials told NBC News.

Officials say multiple grand jury subpoenas and records requests have been issued in connection with the two men during the past six months in the ongoing probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia attempts to influence the election, an inquiry that will now be overseen by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

The FBI, with the help of the Treasury Department, the CIA and other agencies, is examining evidence of possible contacts, money transfers and business relationships between a variety of Trump associates and Russian officials, the sources say. The investigation goes well beyond Flynn, Manafort and a possible American connection, to include how Russian intelligence services carried out the campaign of fake news and leaking hacked emails that intelligence officials say was meant to hurt Hillary Clinton and benefit Donald Trump.

Image: Michael Flynn walks down the White House colonnade
Michael Flynn walks down the White House colonnade at the White House in Washington on Feb. 10, 2017. Jim Bourg / Reuters file
No public evidence has surfaced linking Flynn and Manafort to the Russian interference effort. The investigation has also delved into other aspects of their business and real estate transactions.

Related: Comey Wrote Memo Saying Trump Urged Him To Drop Flynn Probe

Amid revelations that former FBI Director James Comey is accusing President Trump of asking him to drop the Flynn investigation, five people with knowledge of the case told NBC News that they had seen no effort to impede it.

Comey voiced concerns to senators that the investigation had stalled because of a lack of prosecutorial resources, three officials said. But they say the pace picked up after Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, took office three weeks ago. Rosenstein wrote a memo criticizing Comey's performance as director just before Trump fired Comey, but has told lawmakers he would aggressively pursue the Russia probe, Congressional aides say.

He thus far has resisted calls for a special counsel to take over the investigation.

One former senior FBI official told NBC News that the effort to examine possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia was set back considerably when it became public through leaks last year.

Image: Manafort attends a meeting at Trump Tower
Paul Manafort listens during a round table discussion at Trump Tower in New York on Aug. 17, 2016. Carlo Allegri / Reuters file
"These things operate best in the shadows," he said, adding that the probe could take many months if not years and may never result in criminal charges.

No evidence has surfaced in public linking Trump personally to the Russian interference effort.

Related: Feds Subpoena Records for $3.5M Mystery Mortgage on Manafort's Hamptons Home

Law enforcement officials tell NBC News that both Flynn and Manafort are formally considered "subjects" of a criminal investigation, though their lawyers say they have done nothing wrong. A subject generally is someone investigators suspect of a crime.

The FBI investigation is a hybrid of both a criminal and counter intelligence probe. One source who viewed a grand jury subpoena in the Flynn case said it was unusual in that it did not specify any law that allegedly had been broken.

Flynn, who was fired as national security adviser in February, registered as a foreign lobbyist for Turkey this year under Justice Department pressure, having failing to do so while he was paid more than half a million dollars during the campaign. He also did not disclose to the military that he had been paid for a 2015 speaking engagement in Russia. And he lied to the vice president about his contacts with the Russian ambassador, according to former acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

Play Paul Manafort's business ties: New questions surround ex-Trump campaign manager Facebook TwitterEmbed
Paul Manafort's business ties: New questions surround ex-Trump campaign manager 3:27
Flynn was interviewed by the FBI on Jan. 24, and Yates told Congress she refused to tell the White House the results of that interview.

Related: Obama Warned Trump Against Hiring Flynn, Say Officials

NBC News reported last year that Manafort, who was Trump's campaign manager from March through August, had come under federal criminal investigation in connection with his business dealings, including political work for a former Ukrainian prime minister backed by Russian president Vladimir Putin. That investigation has been folded into the Russia probe, officials say.

NBC News reported this week that federal investigators have subpoenaed records related to a $3.5 million mortgage that Manafort took out on his Hamptons home just after leaving the campaign. That is one of a series of unusual real estate transactions in which Manafort has engaged.
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fly ... ad-n761256
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Re: Will Flynn bring back Yellowcake to WH Menu after 1-21-1

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 19, 2017 11:09 am

The Daily Beast Just Dropped A New Trump-Flynn Bombshell That Exposes Trump’s Complicity

BY ROBERT HAFFEY

PUBLISHED ON MAY 18, 2017

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has been the albatross around the orange, flabby neck of the Trump presidency. In February, Flynn was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had had undisclosed communications with Russia. As former Attorney General Sally Yates later testified, Flynn was highly susceptible to blackmail by the Russians while serving in the White House, ironically meaning the National Security Advisor posed a dire risk to national security.

Ever since his resignation, there has been a steady trickle of new Flynn controversies. Yesterday it was revealed that Flynn was still actively lobbying for Turkey after Trump was sworn into the presidency. Today, yet another damning Flynn story has been exposed.

The Daily Beast reports that Flynn was reluctant to accept the National Security Advisor position but Trump pushed him to do it, despite Flynn’s disclosure that he was currently under investigation for lobbying for a foreign government.

According to acquaintances of Flynn, he was considering staying out of the public eye and remaining in the private sphere. Another source says that Flynn was willing to accept a government position, but didn’t want the prominent one offered to him by Trump. He would have preferred a job in the intelligence community.

His preference here could point to a guilty conscience. Flynn had to know the National Security Advisor would subject him to increased scrutiny, which of course it did, culminating in the exposing of his corrupt Russian backchannels and illegal lobbying for foreign nations. Had he been given a position somewhere in the background of the government, he could have gone about his merry way funneling state secrets to Russia unnoticed.

Trump’s pressuring of Flynn to accept the National Security Advisor role displays a stunning lack of judgment or else an unsettling comfortability with the idea of Flynn being compromised. It’s possible that Trump – who may be a Russian asset himself – saw a kindred spirit in the unpatriotic Flynn.

Despite the fact that Flynn is a traitor-for-hire, Trump remains exceptionally fond of him. He’s repeatedly said that Flynn was treated unfairly, going so far as to ask then-FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Trump has also reportedly been in recent contact with Flynn, despite the fact that the White House has vehemently denied any correspondence between the two.

Most absurdly, Trump allegedly wants Flynn back in his White House. The Daily Beast reports that Trump has told associates that he hopes a conclusion of the FBI investigation into Flynn will allow the erstwhile National Security Advisor to return to the White House in a new position.

“Trump feels really, really, really, bad about firing him, and he genuinely thinks if the investigation is over Flynn can come back,” said one official.

Against his advisors’ urging, Trump hopes to bring Flynn – a traitor and self-admitted agent for foreign countries – back into the upper chambers of the American government. Although it seems unlikely to happen, his desire to make it so reveals what a monumental danger Trump poses to this country.
http://occupydemocrats.com/2017/05/18/d ... ign=buffer


Feds Probe Influence Of Flynn’s Turkey Lobbying On Military Decisions

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, U.S. Army (ret), speaks during the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
By ALLEGRA KIRKLAND Published MAY 19, 2017 10:16 AM
Russia isn’t the only country causing headaches for the Trump administration. The federal investigation into fired national security adviser Michael Flynn is closely scrutinizing whether his lobbying work for Turkey influenced military decisions he made in the White House, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The newspaper obtained a copy of a grand jury subpoena issued to one of Flynn’s business associates by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, which involves his $600,000 contract with Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin to lobby for improved relations between the U.S. and Turkey.

McClatchy revealed this week that Flynn put a hold on a military operation against the Islamic State that involved arming Kurdish forces—a move Turkey opposed.

Because Flynn was so hawkish about the need to combat the threat posed by ISIL, his decision prompts questions about whether it was influenced by his hefty lobbying fees.

Federal investigators are looking into whether other military determinations Flynn made during the transition and his tenure as national security adviser were swayed by funds he received from Turkey and Russia, according to the Journal.

The retired lieutenant general reportedly told the transition team that he was under investigation for his lobbying work weeks before inauguration, but the White House insists they knew nothing about it at the time.

Flynn retroactively registered as a foreign agent after he was dismissed for misleading senior administration officials about his private conversations with Russian officials.
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/f ... -decisions
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