The White House on Thursday pushed back on a report that President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn told the transition team he was under federal investigation for serving as a paid lobbyist for Turkey while working on Trump's campaign. Flynn had been paid more than $500,000 to advocate for Turkey's interests.
Former US President Barack Obama's national security team asked for Trump's approval on a plan to retake the IS's de facto capital of Raqqa, because it was more than likely to be carried out under his presidency.
Several sources close to Flynn and to the administration tell The Daily Beast that Trump has expressed his hopes that a resolution of the FBI's investigation in Flynn's favor might allow Flynn to rejoin the White House in some capacity - a scenario some of Trump's closest advisers in and outside the West Wing have assured him absolutely should not happen. Earlier this year, Pence said he was not made aware of Flynn's discussions with Russian officials until 15 days after Trump and the White House were notified.
Pence claimed in a March interview with Fox News that it was the "first I'd heard of" Flynn earning hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby for a Turkish businessman, which ultimately prompted Flynn to register as a foreign agent.
Those sources also said that Gen. Flynn has maintained his loyalty to President Trump, and will not accept any kind of deal for leniency in exchange for flipping on the President.More news: Hillary Clinton Takes a Swipe at The Media in French Election Tweet
A week after the inauguration, then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the administration that Flynn was "compromised" and "could essentially be blackmailed" by the Russian government. After Flynn was sacked, it was re-instated. "Given the importance of the job, the President thought there were better people for it, and that Flynn wasn't up for the job", a former senior Obama administration official told CNN of Obama's decision to ward Trump off of Flynn.
"But Trump insisted on it", said historian Ledeen, co-author of Flynn's 2016 book The Field of Fight, their manifesto for defeating Islamic militancy. The op-ed in The Hill raised suspicions that Flynn was working as a foreign agent, and in a letter dated November 30, the Justice Department notified Flynn that it was scrutinizing his lobbying work.
Around the time of Flynn's call with McGahn, the FBI began investigating Flynn on a separate matter: phone conversations he had in late December with Sergey I. Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States. He ended up leaving a message, identifying himself as Flynn's lawyer. However, Flynn wasn't fired until 18 days later.
Despite all of the trouble Flynn caused him, Trump continued to defend Flynn in public and private.
Flynn's connections to Russian Federation have been widely discussed. Since the Russians knew that Flynn had lied to the vice president, she said, they might have leverage over him.