Vice President Mike Pence is not backing down from his claim that he learned nothing about ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn’s lobbying work for the Turkish government until March. The New York Times revealed that Flynn told the Trump transition team – which Pence chaired – he was under federal investigation for that work in January.
Pence “stands by his comments in March upon first hearing the news regarding General Flynn’s ties to Turkey and fully supports the president’s decision to ask for General Flynn’s resignation,” his office said in a statement to USA Today.
According to the Times, Flynn informed the transition team’s chief lawyer Don McGahn on Jan. 4 that he was under investigation by the Justice Department for receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby on behalf of Turkey during the presidential campaign. McGahn now serves as White House counsel.
Flynn’s lawyer provided additional information to transition team lawyers in a subsequent meeting two days later, the newspaper reported.
Pence was the head of the Trump transition team, but, by his account, was never even made aware that Flynn was working as a lobbyist for a foreign government.
In March, after Flynn retroactively registered as a foreign agent with the Justice Department, Pence told Fox News that this was the first time he had learned about Flynn’s lobbying.