President Donald Trump has remained in contact with his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, months after Flynn was fired by Trump for making improper contacts with foreign officials.
Trump was previously warned by his advisers not to reach out to Flynn during the investigation. But a Yahoo! News article describes how unnamed sources had met with Flynn as recently as late April. During that meeting, which was described as a get-together among old friends who were trying to be supportive of Flynn during his current legal battle, Flynn was asked whether he still had a high opinion of the president or not.
Not only did Flynn speak generously of Trump, he also said that he’s still in contact with him. “I just got a message from the president to stay strong,” Flynn told the sources at that meeting.
Exclusive: Trump sends private message to embattled Flynn: "Stay strong" https://t.co/eBxJzknvaS
— Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff) May 18, 2017
Flynn is under investigation currently for his failure to disclose that he had received payments from foreign nations, including Russia and Turkey. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Flynn had steered U.S. military policy in a direction favorable to Turkey’s interests. Flynn had previously received $500,000 from the nation in order to advocate on their behalf.
Flynn also spoke with Russian officials prior to Trump assuming office, in an effort to broker a deal to lift economic sanctions placed on that country by the U.S. Such dealings by an individual who is not yet representing the U.S. is a violation of federal law. And though the president explained he had no knowledge of the meetup, Trump later said he would have told Flynn to have done it anyway.
“It certainly would have been OK with me if he did it. I would have directed him to do it if I thought he wasn’t doing it,” Trump said of Flynn meeting with foreign leaders.
Trump is already in hot water for possibly obstructing the investigation into Flynn’s foreign relationships. In a memo that was revealed this week, former FBI Director James Comey wrote that Trump had asked him to drop the Flynn investigation entirely.
Comey was later fired by Trump over the direction the FBI investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections last fall was going. Additional contacts with Flynn could prove problematic for Trump in the continued investigation, especially if they go beyond what has been reported already.