Donald Trump’s team knew about an FBI probe into Michael Flynn’s lobbying work for the Turkish government before giving him the job of the national security adviser, US media said Wednesday.
Officials familiar with the matter told the New York Times that the disclosure was made to the transition team’s chief lawyer on January 4, two weeks before Trump’s inauguration.
The newspaper suggested that the president-elect knew about the investigation, which probed the Flynn Intel Group’s contract with a Dutch firm owned by a Turkish businessman to run a campaign to allegedly discredit US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for staging the 2016 failed coup.
Flynn was forced to resign after only 24 days in office. He has since been at the center of accusations against Trump over his campaign’s alleged ties to Russia after he purportedly discussed US sanctions on Russia with its envoy to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.
Last week, Trump fired FBI director James Comey, raising claims of a cover-up. An explosive report emerged in the New York Times this Tuesday suggesting the US president had asked Comey to close the probe into Flynn’s links to Russia.
Russia has repeatedly denied US claims that it meddled in the 2016 presidential vote, calling such allegations absurd. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said Moscow did not have official contacts with Trump’s team during the campaign.