A new report from McClatchy news service alleges former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn made a key military decision in the fight against ISIS that aligned with the interests of the Turkish government. At the same time, Flynn had failed to disclose that he had taken money from Turkish sources and was working as a foreign agent.
Flynn formally registered as a foreign agent in March – after he had been forced out of the Trump administration. As recently as November, Flynn had done work that “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.”
Now, a twist in the ever-evolving saga of Michael Flynn shows that just before President Donald Trump took office, Flynn blocked a military plan that would have seen Syrian Kurds retaking Raqqa, Syria:
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.
In a separate report late Wednesday evening, the New York Times confirmed that Flynn informed Trump transition team officials that he was under investigation for lobbying on behalf of the foreign government without registering as a foreign agent. That disclosure came on January 4, just days before Flynn would block former President Barack Obama’s Raqqa plan, and benefit Turkish interests in Syria.
President Trump would ultimately approve the Raqqa plan, but only after Flynn left the White House and it was made apparent that he misled the Vice President about his connections with Russian government officials.