Flynn re­port­edly said sanc­tions on Rus­sia would be ‘ripped up’

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NATION | NATIONAL REPORT - By Mark Mazzetti and Michael S. Sch­midt

WASH­ING­TON >> Michael Flynn, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s for­mer na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser, told a for­mer busi­ness as­so­ciate that eco­nomic sanc­tions against Rus­sia would be “ripped up” as one of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s first acts, ac­cord­ing to an ac­count by a whistle­blower made pub­lic on Wed­nes­day.

Flynn be­lieved that end­ing the sanc­tions could al­low a busi­ness project he had once par­tic­i­pated in to move for­ward, ac­cord­ing to the whistle­blower. The ac­count is the strong­est ev­i­dence to date that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion wanted to end the sanc­tions im­me­di­ately, and sug­gests that Flynn had a pos­si­ble eco­nomic in­cen­tive for the United States to forge a closer re­la­tion­ship with Rus­sia.

Flynn had worked on a busi­ness ven­ture to part­ner with Rus­sia to build nu­clear power plants in the Mid­dle East un­til June 2016, but re­mained close with the peo­ple involved af­ter­ward. On In­au­gu­ra­tion Day, ac­cord­ing to the whistle­blower, Flynn texted the for­mer busi­ness as­so­ciate to say that the project was “good to go.”

The ac­count is de­tailed in a let­ter writ­ten by Rep. Eli­jah Cum­mings of Mary­land, the top Demo­crat on the House Over­sight Com­mit­tee. He did not name the whistle­blower.

“These grave al­le­ga­tions com­pel a full, cred­i­ble and bi­par­ti­san con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Cum­mings wrote.

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