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House Dems question Flynn disclosures of Middle East travel

House Dems question Flynn disclosures of Middle East travel

Two top House Democrats are questioning whether former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn failed to report a 2015 trip to the Middle East to security clearance investigators. They said Flynn had not accurately reported his foreign travels and contacts in a 2016 application to renew his security clearance.Cummings is the ranking Democrat on the House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Engel and Cummings also say that while Flynn disclosed a second trip to the Middle East later that year, he failed to reveal which "friend" joined him on the trip to Saudi Arabia.

Cummings and Engel also cited a recent Newsweek report which said Flynn took a trip to the Middle East in the summer of 2015 in pursuit of a joint U.S. It also questions why Flynn failed to mention "any of these contacts with Saudi or other foreign officials on his security clearance application or during his interview with security clearance investigators".

At the time of his House testimony, Flynn said he was testifying on behalf of his Flynn Intel Group and had not received any money from a foreign government related to the subject of the hearing.

The letter cites a recent Newsweek article detailing Flynn's previously undisclosed trip and a plan that involved Saudi Arabia selling energy from the nuclear projects to U.S. allies in the Middle East and a promise from those Gulf countries to purchase $100 billion in arms from Russian Federation that otherwise would have been sold to Iran. He was forced to resign from his position as Trump's national security adviser just weeks into the presidency after administration officials said Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about the content of his calls with the Russian ambassador during the transition.

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, arrives to deliver a statement during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. on February 1, 2017.




Flynn did not detail his work with X-Co Dynamics in the disclosure, but the Newsweek report alleged that Flynn's trip to Israel and Egypt in summer 2015 was part of a private effort by the firm to advance the idea of a massive ring of atomic reactors that would be built by the US nuclear industry and the Russian government and largely bankrolled by Saudi Arabia.

"It does not appear that General Flynn disclosed this trip or any foreign contacts as part of his security clearance renewal process", the letter states. To the contrary, the project Flynn was involved in at the time was expressly created to put such deals in the hands of a US -led global consortium under strict safety and security controls.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told CNN's "OutFront with Erin Burnett" on Monday the disclosures emphasize how problematic it was for President Donald Trump to ask then-FBI Director James Comey to back off his probe of Flynn. Flynn's financial disclosure did not show any financial payment from X-Co Dynamics for his involvement.

A lawyer for Flynn didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. When Defense Department Investigators questioned Flynn about the trip he said he went there with "a friend" for six days "to speak at a conference" that was paid for by "a work sponsor".

But congressional staffers could not confirm the existence of such a hotel, though they note the airport in Riyadh shares that name. The Democrats note that Flynn did disclose that trip, but argue that he "omitted significant details". Committee investigators also found that none of the three speakers bureaus Flynn worked with "reported any involvement with General Flynn's trip to Saudi Arabia or any conference there".


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