Six days ago, Michael Flynn resigned as Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser after it was exposed that he had colluded with the Russian ambassador, both before and after election day. It was then revealed that Flynn had also colluded by phone with Russian intel officials while serving as a Donald Trump campaign advisor. Now comes the detail that may tie it all together: the Kremlin paid off Flynn shortly before he became a Trump campaign advisor.
Here’s the sequence of confirmed events as we now know them. In April of 2014, Michael Flynn was forced out of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency for erratic behavior, ending his career in the United States military and government. In June of 2015, Donald Trump entered the presidential race. In December of 2015, the Kremlin paid Michael Flynn the sum of $40,000 to travel to Moscow and sit at the same dinner table as Vladimir Putin during a Russia Today event. In February of 2016, Michael Flynn became a campaign adviser for Donald Trump, during which time he routinely colluded with Russian agents.
Flynn’s attendance with Putin at the dinner in Moscow has long been documented, and there’s even a now infamous photo of the two of them sitting together at the same table. But until today, it wasn’t known that Flynn had been paid to be there. New York Daily News now reports that Flynn was paid $40,000 just to attend the dinner, and that Flynn failed to ask for the necessary Pentagon approval for such a payment.
That’s a bizarrely large amount of money for the Kremlin to have paid Flynn, who was a nobody and who at that point had already been run out of the U.S. government, just to attend a dinner event. Moreover, Russia Today is directly funded by the Kremlin itself, meaning the Kremlin paid Flynn the $40,000. It all comes together to suggest that the money was actually for a different purpose.
And not long after the Kremlin suspiciously paid Michael Flynn a whopping $40,000 to attend a dinner, Flynn managed to get himself hired as an adviser to the Donald Trump campaign, suggesting the Kremlin had paid him to act as a mole or handler in the Trump campaign. Now the search is on to investigate if this a one time payment, or if there were additional payments from Putin to Flynn after he went to work for the Trump campaign.