Report: Ex-Turkey Lobbyist Flynn Stopped Anti-ISIS Operation That Turkey Opposed

Fired national security adviser Michael Flynn put a hold on a military operation against the Islamic State opposed by Turkey, the country he was paid some $530,000 to represent, McClatchy reported Wednesday.

Days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Flynn declined to approve a plan laid out by the Obama administration and Pentagon to retake the ISIL stronghold of Raqqa with assistance from Syrian Kurdish forces, according to McClatchy.

The Kurds and Turkish government have been embroiled in armed conflict for decades, and Turkey has long opposed the U.S. cooperating with Kurdish forces, McClatchy reported.

By delaying the Raqqa operation, Flynn, made a military decision beneficial to a foreign government. He did so after his consulting firm was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby for improved relations between the U.S. and Turkey, while he was also serving as a senior adviser and then as designated national security adviser for the Trump administration.

Trump’s national security team ultimately approved the plan weeks after Flynn was fired, according to McClatchy.

Despite public claims they knew little about Flynn’s work for foreign governments, The New York Times reported Wednesday that the Trump transition team was told on Jan. 4 that he was under federal investigation for lobbying on Turkey’s behalf.

Like the rest of the Trump administration, Flynn took a hard line on the threat posed by Islamic extremists and ISIL specifically.

“I’m totally convinced that, without a proper sense of urgency, we will be eventually defeated, dominated, and very likely destroyed” by Islamic militants, Flynn wrote in his 2016 book “The Field of Fight.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: