Politics

Mike Pence Was Warned About Flynn In November

| by Sheena Vasani

A letter reveals Vice President Mike Pence was warned about former national security adviser Michael Flynn's relations with Turkey back in November 2016.

"Recent news reports have revealed that Lt. Gen. Flynn was receiving classified briefings during the presidential campaign while his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, Inc., was being paid to lobby the U.S. Government on behalf of a foreign government's interests," Democrat and ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. Elijah Cummings, wrote in a note to Pence, reports Business Insider.

"Lt. Gen. Flynn's General Counsel and Principal, Robert Kelley, confirmed that they were hired by a foreign company to lobby for Turkish interests, stating: 'They want to keep posted on what we all want to be informed of: the present situation, the transition between President Obama and President-elect Trump,'" the letter continued. "When asked whether the firm had been hired because of Lt. Gen. Flynn's close ties to President-elect Trump, Mr. Kelley responded, 'I hope so.'"

Yet on March 9, Pence denied having any knowledge of Flynn's relationship with Turkey.

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"Hearing that story today was the first I'd heard of it," Pence said, later adding that the revelation was "an affirmation of the president's decision to ask General Flynn to resign."

President Donald Trump also said he was not aware of Flynn's work before appointing him as his national security adviser.

While Pence has yet to comment on the letter, Cummings continues to speak out.

"In addition to being in the press, I warned the Vice President directly three months ago about the conflicts created by Lt. General Flynn’s company lobbying on behalf of Turkish interests," Cummings said.

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"If the Vice President had heeded my warnings, it’s clear now he could have prevented the problems that occurred with Lt. General Flynn. Republicans in Congress are doing a disservice to the White House and our national security interests by not conducting rigorous and serious oversight of the administration, especially to help catch issues early and address them."

Many Democrats also agreed the incident reflected poorly on the Trump administration as a whole.

"Gen. Flynn's behavior seems to be part of a larger pattern of poor judgment from members of this administration," Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said, reports Bloomberg Politics.

"This astonishing admission is more appalling evidence of foreign entanglements and conflicts of interest involving the Trump team," chimed in Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

Sources: Business Insider, Bloomberg Politics / Photo credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

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