The White House is once again scrambling to do damage control today, as National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned last month, registered this week as the agent of a foreign government related to his company’s lobbying on behalf of Turkey.
White House officials were quick to insist that President Trump was ‘unaware’ this was the case when he appointed Flynn, which was announced almost immediately after the November election. Yet Flynn’s status as a lobbyist for Turkey was already well established by then.
On election night, Flynn penned a high-profile opinion piece in The Hill praising the Turkish government as a vital ally, and condemning the US media for not supporting Erdogan’s post-coup crackdown. He also urged the US to “help” Turkey by extraditing cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey accused of being behind the coup.
Days later, Turkish officials were openly cheering Flynn’s appointment to the key position, and in the context of the known lobbying contract Flynn’s company had with Turkey at the time, Turkish officials insisted that The Hill piece was not “explicitly solicited” from Flynn as part of the contract.