The White House on Thursday pushed back on a report that President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn told the transition team he was under federal investigation for serving as a paid lobbyist for Turkey while working on Trump’s campaign.
“The New York Times story is flat wrong,” a White House spokesman said in a statement to NBC News’ Peter Alexander.
JUST IN: WH calls NYT report that Flynn & his lawyers told Trump transition team he was under federal investigation "flat wrong." pic.twitter.com/pC0jLb7CYy
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) May 18, 2017
That denial came nearly a day after the New York Times first reported, citing two unnamed sources familiar with the case, that Flynn told lawyers on Trump’s transition — including Don McGahn, who now serves as White House counsel — that he was under investigation by the Justice Department.
McClatchy reported Wednesday that days before Trump’s inauguration, Flynn declined to approve a military operation against the Islamic State opposed by Turkey, which he was paid some $600,000 to represent.
Vice President Mike Pence, who led Trump’s transition, on Thursday nevertheless stood behind his claim that he did not learn about Flynn’s lobbying work for the Turkish government until March.