Russian officials bragged they could use Flynn to influence Trump, sources say

Russian officials bragged they could use Flynn to influence Trump, sources say

Russian officials bragged they could use Flynn to influence Trump, sources say

An extrusive Trump supporter, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in July, Flynn signed a $600,000 contract in August, and was hired to run a 90-day long smear campaign against Fethullah Gulen, a US -based cleric whom the increasingly authoritarian Turkish President Recep Erdoğan has accused of orchestrating a failed coup last summer.

While he didn't specifically reference recent controversies plaguing the White House during a speech to the Chamber of Commerce, Pence assured Trump's supporters that Trump would tackle "the issues that matter most to the American people".

On November 8-the same day Trump was elected-Flynn published an op-ed in The Hill, championing improved relations between Turkey and America, and describing Gulen as a "shady Islamic Mullah".

The claims emerged even as it was announced that former FBI Director Robert Mueller had been appointed as special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 election and the possibility of collusion with President Donald Trump's campaign officials - a legal tangle in which Flynn plays a central role. The article spiked a series of eyebrows, and prompted the Justice Department to inform Flynn that it was looking into his lobbying. Turkey, who views the Kurds as as adversaries, opposed the plan.

According to McClatchy newspapers, Flynn told then national security advisor Susan Rice to hold off, delaying the operation for months. After Flynn was sacked, it was re-instated.

This latest twist in the Flynn saga follows his very dramatic firing just 24 days into working for Team Trump.

The conversations deeply concerned United States intelligence officials, some of whom acted on their own to limit how much sensitive information they shared with Flynn, who was tapped to become Trump's national security adviser, current and former governments officials said.

"The vice president stands by his comments in March upon first hearing the news regarding General Flynn's ties to Turkey and fully supports the President's decision to ask for General Flynn's resignation", said an aide to Pence, who declined to be named.

The White House has said that Flynn was dismissed for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about a phone call with the Russian ambassador, during which he reportedly discussed ways of softening U.S. sanctions on Russia. It's also one that was posed after Pence stood before news cameras and claimed that Trump had fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey because of a memo written by the deputy attorney general - only for Trump to later reveal he planned to fire Comey regardless.

This is one of those stories that'll be dismissed as "FAKE NEWS!" and then, if Trump actually does re-appoint Flynn to something, the spin will change instantly to "Awesome!"

Following his claims of maltreatment yesterday, Trump declared "You can't let them get you down".

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