Ex-Trump aide Flynn denies Muslim cleric kidnap plan claims

12 November, 2017, 02:16 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Fethullah Gulen lives in a compound in the small Poconocs town of Saylorsburg Pennsylvania

The meeting allegedly discussed a secret payout of up to US$15 million dollars (S$20.4 million) if, once in office, Mr Flynn would engineer the deportation to Turkey of Fethullah Gulen, a political rival to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as help free Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab from prison.

News is reporting that "the meeting allegedly took place in Washington the evening of September 20" past year and "was arranged by his lobbying firm, the Flynn Intel Group".

According to The Wall Street Journal, Flynn and his son were to be paid as much as $15 million to deliver Fethullah Gülen to the Turkish government.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian manipulation of the 2016 USA election, has already indicted Trump's former campaign manager and another senior fundraiser on charges including money laundering and a former foreign policy adviser has pleaded guilty to perjury.

It's still rather early in the morning, but I feel comfortable saying that the latest reporting on Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's former White House National Security Advisor, is going to be the craziest story of the day. Manafort's lawyers may have a point in complaining, as they have, that the Foreign Agents Registration Act is rarely criminalized and that Mueller shouldn't weaponize it.

This meeting was held in December - after the US presidential election and during Donald Trump's transition period - as Flynn was preparing to oversee national-security policy at the White House.

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Flynn is surrounded by allegations around his financial ties to Russian Federation and Turkey.

It was a follow-up conversation to a discussion that happened in September between Mr Flynn, Erdogan's son-in-law and Turkey's foreign minister, a meeting attended by former CIA Director James Woolsey.

According to the two reports, the discussions included details of how Mr Gulen, a Muslim cleric who lives in Pennsylvania, could be flown secretly by private jet to the isolated Turkish prison island of Imrali. It is not clear if any money changed hands or if any preparatory steps were taken.

The meeting happened, however, after Flynn had already been offered the job of national security adviser in the Trump White House. "Evidence that Flynn was prepared to act in such an unlawful way could help prove a case against him in other activities as well involving his ties to Russian Federation during the campaign".

NBC News also reports this morning that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team has taken an interest in the alleged December 2016 meeting as part of "a line of inquiry regarding Flynn's lobbying efforts on behalf of Turkey".

Flynn's attorneys responded to the report Friday, denying the claims. All of this reportedly at the direction of the Turkish government.

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