During his stint as an adviser to the Trump campaign in 2016, Michael Flynn shifted his position on a national security issue regarding Turkey, and according to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, he had a $600,000 incentive to change his mind.
The events occurred during the heat of the 2016 presidential campaign, when Flynn was a retired United States Army Lieutenant General and top advisor to Donald Trump.
At issue was the attempted coup in Turkey that year, the country with the second largest army of all the NATO allies, RawStory noted.
Maddow mentioned a speech Flynn delivered to a conservative on the night the coup broke out:
“And that night in Cleveland, Ohio, the top national security adviser to the Donald Trump campaign, he himself was giving a speech to a conservative group in Cleveland, and he diverged from his prepared remarks to tell people about this coup that was at this moment breaking out in turkey,” Maddow noted.
“And Mike Flynn basically explained to that conservative audience that night in Cleveland, as the coup was going on, that the coup was basically awesome, that it was something that that audience there should literally applaud because basically, it would be great if the Turkish government was overthrown in that coup that night,” she explained.
But then the about-face:
“Thanks to a new federal felony indictment that was just unveiled today, now we know prosecutors say it took at most 11 days for Mike Flynn, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, to do an absolute U-turn on that important national security issue in exchange for a big pile of money,” Maddow reported.
Flynn’s lobbying firm, the Flynn Group, was paid $600,000 for the eventual national security adviser to shift his position on Turkey, according to Maddow.
She also noted that Flynn came to support the extradition of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, who currently lives in Pennsylvania and whose return is sought by the same government the coup was attempting to overthrow.
“For the low, low price of $600,000, he will not only stop telling Americans that they should applaud that coup, he will help the government that was the target of that coup hunt down the guy they’re blaming it on,” Maddow explained.
“National security matters affect all of us and you can’t get anywhere near the lurid story of Mike Flynn and his lies to investigators and his schemes and his foreign entanglements that he was covering up while he was involved in these sensitive matters, all the ways he was caught, all the warnings and the red flags flying around, you can’t get anywhere near this lurid saga of Mike Flynn as a national security and counterintelligence disaster at the highest levels of this administration without at least wondering why the Trump administration did not care about any of this,” Maddow noted.