Trump aid Michael Flynn planned to 'rip up' Russian Federation sanctions, says whistleblower

Trump aid Michael Flynn planned to 'rip up' Russian Federation sanctions, says whistleblower

Trump aid Michael Flynn planned to 'rip up' Russian Federation sanctions, says whistleblower

"Donald Trump was just 11 minutes into his presidency when his choice for national security adviser, Michael Flynn, texted a former business partner to say an ambitious USA collaboration with Russian Federation to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East was 'good to go, ' according to a new whistleblower account", NBC News reports.

Mr. Flynn had worked on a business venture to partner with Russian Federation to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East until June 2016, but remained close with the people involved afterward.

The New York Times was first to report the letter on Wednesday, claiming it represents "the strongest evidence to date that the Trump administration wanted to end the sanctions immediately, and suggests that Mr. Flynn had a possible economic incentive for the United States to forge a closer relationship with Russian Federation".

Within minutes of Trump's inauguration in January, Flynn informed his former associate that the plan to work with Russian Federation to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East was "good to go", because Flynn was ensuring the sanctions would be "ripped up" as one of Trump's first orders of business.

Copson then told the whistleblower that Flynn "has been putting everything in place for us" and that the project would "make a lot of very wealthy people".

On Friday, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about conversations he had in December 2016 with the Russian ambassador to the United States about the sanctions, among other topics.

A spokesperson for Gowdy's office did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday, nor did the lawyer who represents ACU Strategic Partners.

The allegation - which suggests the Trump administration was eager to lift sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama and that Flynn may have blurred his public and private roles during his brief run at the White House - was outlined in a letter Cummings sent to Rep.

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The congressman, Rep. Elijah Cummings, outlined the whistleblower's allegations in a letter to House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Trey Gowdy earlier this week.

The Newsweek account prompted Cummings to launch an investigation of the arrangement. He said the witness said Copson showed him texts on his phone that Copson said were from Flynn, but that the witness didn't read them and later took notes on their conversation.

Gowdy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

"I do not bring this whistle-blower to your attention lightly", Cummings said.

Cummings did not name the whistleblower in the letter, but offered to have Gowdy speak with the person directly. The whistleblower also said that Copson intimated that US financial sanctions hobbling the nuclear project were going to be "ripped up". Special Counsel Robert Mueller had reportedly asked Cummings to hold off on making the whistleblower's allegations public, until now.

It also raised fresh questions on what Trump knew about Flynn's business plans when he appointed the retired three- star general to serve as his national security advisor.

In various filings in 2016 and 2017, Flynn did not initially disclose his connection to ACU and foreign contacts he made while advising the firm.

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