President Trump to Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn (ret.), "Stay Strong"

The Times' reporting, which cited two people familiar with the case, says that despite Flynn's January 4 disclosure about the investigation to White House counsel Donald McGahn, Mr. Trump brought Flynn onto his team.

According to Flynn's paperwork, he was paid $530,000 for work that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey".

Former US President Barack Obama's national security team asked for Trump's approval on a plan to retake the IS's de facto capital of Raqqa, because it was more than likely to be carried out under his presidency.

That denial came almost 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.

This week, at least, it appears that Flynn's legal troubles have taken a back seat, as President Trump's purported efforts to protect Flynn from scrutiny have landed Trump, once again, in the spotlight.

After being appointed national security adviser, Flynn quickly became the subject of controversy after reports emerged that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about a conversation with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak about Obama-era sanctions, which took place before Trump's inauguration.

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Flynn, who was sacked from his position in February, registered as a foreign agent shortly afterwards.

A week after the inauguration, then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the administration that Flynn was "compromised" and "could essentially be blackmailed" by the Russian government.

The military plan against the Islamic State stronghold was eventually approved, but not until after Flynn had been fired. "Given the importance of the job, the President thought there were better people for it, and that Flynn wasn't up for the job", a former senior Obama administration official told CNN of Obama's decision to ward Trump off of Flynn. In March, White House press secretary Sean Spicer claimed Manafort played a "very limited role for a very limited amount of time" in Trump's presidential campaign.

But Flynn accepted, and many believe his new post as the senior national security adviser to President Trump, made him a target. By Jan. 4, the day Flynn informed McGahn of the inquiry, the Justice Department was investigating the matter.

Around the time of Flynn's call with McGahn, the FBI began investigating Flynn on a separate matter: phone conversations he had in late December with Sergey I. Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States. "He likes him, he trusted him, he was comfortable with him", he said...

Despite all of the trouble Flynn caused him, Trump continued to defend Flynn in public and private. "There were certainly a lot of questions about Gen. Flynn's suitability for that position, even before this revelation of the Turkish connection".

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