White House says Trump didn’t know Flynn was representing Turkey

© Reuters. White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (C) arrives before a joint press conference between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, United States .

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump did not learn until this week that his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had been working as a representative of Turkey, although the issue was raised earlier with Trump’s team. . the Republican took office.

Flynn acted as a foreign agent representing the interests of the Turkish government in exchange for more than $ 500,000 during last year’s presidential campaign, including while advising Trump, the New York Times said on Friday.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters that Flynn’s lobbying was a personal and business matter, and that it was up to him to decide when to register.

When asked if Trump didn’t know that former General Flynn was working as a foreign agent, Spicer said: “Right … You wouldn’t know until he applied. He didn’t apply until two days ago.”

Some US lawmakers have questioned Flynn’s relationship with the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Before Trump’s inauguration, Flynn’s ties to Turkey were widely reported and he wrote an article urging the United States to cultivate better relations with Erdogan.

Trump fired Flynn last month for discussing US sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office on January 20 and misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the talks.

Before Trump took office, Flynn’s attorney contacted the presidential transition team about his work for Turkey and asked what he should do, Spicer said. The attorney was told that “it was up to the personal attorney to work with the appropriate authorities … to determine what was appropriate and what was not appropriate in terms of presentation,” Spicer said.

“We trust people to fill out the forms that they are required to do honestly and legally, and in this case he retroactively filed the forms that he was supposed to do,” he said.

“We did the right thing at the time and we expect all employees to follow the law.”

Spicer said he did not know if Flynn had disclosed his lobbying work in the security clearance review before becoming a national security adviser.

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