Earlier this week, former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn registered as a foreign agent with the Justice Department for lobbying work linked to Turkey during the Trump campaign. The Foreign Agent Registration Act requires that U.S. citizens lobbying on behalf of foreign governments disclose their connections for some pretty obvious reasons. What makes this unusual is that Flynn was a member of the Trump campaign and slated to be the President’s National Security Adviser while working for a foreign government.
The Trump Administration has been asked if they knew that Flynn was also representing another country’s interests. Although responses have varied, the real answer appears to be yes. The Associated Press reported Friday that Flynn’s attorneys twice disclosed his Turkish ties to the Trump team after the campaign was over and Flynn’s consulting work was completed. One disclosure occurred during the transition and then another took place in the early days of the administration. At least one of those disclosures was to White House counsel Don McGahn. Both times the transition team and the administration did not appear to take the issue seriously enough to take it to the president.
From the Washington Post:
Attorneys for Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, informed the incoming White House legal counsel during the transition that Flynn might need to register with the government as a foreign agent—a phone call that raised no alarms within Trump’s team, despite the unusual circumstance of having a top national security post filled by someone whose work may have benefited a foreign government.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer has repeatedly denied that the president had any knowledge of Flynn’s links to the Turkish government.