Russian Officials Saw Michael Flynn As An Ally, Thought They Could Use Him To Influence Donald Trump
Russian officials reportedly boasted last year that they had Michael Flynn in their pocket, and could use him to influence Donald Trump.
At the time, Trump was still a candidate in the presidential race and Flynn was yet to become national security adviser, a position he only held briefly.
Michael Flynn And His Russia Connection
As CNN reports, during the 2016 presidential campaign Russian officials said their relationship with Flynn was so strong that they could use him to influence Trump, who was already a strong contender in the presidential race.
U.S. intelligence officials were reportedly concerned about those comments from Russian officials and once Trump won the presidential race and appointed Flynn as his national security adviser, some of them tried to find out just what information Flynn had.
This is just the latest reveal in a series of questionable news regarding Flynn and his Russian connection. Earlier this year, Flynn stepped down from his position as national security adviser after word came out that he talked about sanctions in his private conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States.
In fact, Flynn's appointment as national security adviser raised eyebrows from the get-go. As it recently came to light, former U.S. President Barack Obama warned Trump against appointing Flynn for that position. Flynn previously led the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration, but lost his position back in 2014 over mismanagement and temper issues.
Trump ignored Obama's warning and hired Flynn as his national security adviser anyway, but it didn't take long until it became obvious that it was not such a good idea. Revelations about Flynn's talks with Russia's ambassador stirred great concern, especially since Flynn was not upfront about it.
Flynn had those talks with Russia's ambassador shortly before Trump took office, and made misleading statements to top administration officials when it came to the nature of those conversations. The truth came out from intercepted phone calls and Flynn resigned.
Russian Officials Saw Flynn As An Ally
Intercepted conversations of Russian officials, meanwhile, indicated that the officials considered Flynn as an ally. However, U.S. officials also noted that the Russians may have exaggerated their bond with Flynn in those talks.
The feds are still investigating Russia's efforts to get involved in the 2016 presidential election, as well as a potential conspiracy between Moscow and the Trump campaign. However, it remains unclear at this point just how those investigations will proceed and what turn they will take since Trump fired FBI director James Comey earlier this week. Comey was investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to sway the outcome of the presidential elections last year.
Trump's decision to fire Comey effective immediately comes just days after news surfaced that Trump had asked the then-FBII director to stop investigating Flynn and his ties with Russia.
Amid a slew of theories and allegations making rounds, Trump repeatedly denied any conspiracy between Russia and his campaign. Trump said the investigation was a "witch hunt" and was part of Democrats' attempt to usurp his presidency.