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Allegra Kirkland

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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Documents recently filed by retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn detail the work his consulting firm was doing that “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey” while he was serving as a top Donald Trump campaign adviser, and that continued after he was named the designated national security adviser to the President-elect.

Between August and December 2016, Flynn Intel Group was paid $530,000 by Inovo BV, a Dutch firm run by a Turkish businessman, according to Flynn’s filings last Tuesday under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

The FARA filings show that Flynn held meetings with senior Turkish officials, and that his firm did research and produced promotional material for Inovo while he working for the Trump campaign and sitting in on classified briefings. Flynn Intel Group’s final payment to contractors working on the Inovo project came in December, almost a month after Trump named Flynn to serve as national security adviser.

The White House has framed Flynn’s lobbying work a non-issue, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer calling it a “personal matter, a business matter.” Top administration officials were directly notified twice about the lobbying, however. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) warned Vice President Mike Pence in a November letter that Flynn’s company was “hired by a foreign company to lobby for Turkish interests,” while Flynn’s lawyer informed White House counsel Don McGahn about the firm’s work during the transition.

Below is a timeline of the work Flynn and his firm were doing for Inovo in the heat of the 2016 campaign and into Donald Trump's transition to the presidency.

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According to White House aide Sebastian Gorka, persistent racial disparities in the U.S. can be attributed to a “dependency culture” created by the Democratic Party.

“Today I do not see, as a nation, systemic persecution based on skin color,” he said in an interview with the Center for Investigative Reporting’s “Reveal” podcast that aired Thursday.

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President Donald Trump’s tweet first, ask questions later approach to governance took an odd turn this weekend.

The White House asked Congress to investigate allegations, first laid out by the President on Twitter Saturday, that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election. Congressional experts who spoke with TPM said the President has no authority to direct lawmakers’ investigations, and that it is a bizarre move for the commander-in-chief to ask Congress to investigate himself.

“The investigative power of committee is a congressional tool, not a presidential tool. That the President would assume that he could essentially demand or dictate to Congress that they change the focus of an investigation is I think pretty much unprecedented," Bruce Miroff, an expert on the U.S. presidency at the University of Albany, explained. "And it is a reminder again that, to put it bluntly, Trump doesn’t understand the separation of power system.”

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