Flynn told associate Russia sanctions would be ‘ripped up’ early in Trump presidency
President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn told a former business associate that sanctions against Russia would be “ripped up” early in the new presidency, according to a whistle-blower’s account made public on Wednesday.
Within minutes of Trump’s inauguration in January, Flynn informed his former associate that the plan to work with Russia to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East was “good to go,” because Flynn was ensuring the sanctions would be “ripped up” as one of Trump’s first orders of business.
The whistleblower’s account is detailed in a letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), which he sent to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The account was first reported by The New York Times.
The whistleblower contacted Cummings’s office in June, and gave the congressman permission to share his account as part of the committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The individual met with Alex Copson on Inauguration Day. Copson was working with Flynn to promote a joint project with Russia to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East.
Copson told the whistleblower that Flynn was making sure the sanctions would be ripped up, which would allow money to start flowing into the project.
“Mike has been putting everything in place for us. I am going to celebrate today,” Copson said, according to the whistleblower. “This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people.”
Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, concluded his letter by asking Gowdy to issue subpoenas to Flynn, Flynn’s son, Copson, White House chief of staff John Kelly and others.
Former President Obama imposed economic sanctions on Russia in 2014, and issued further sanctions for the country’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Trump signed the Russia sanctions bill into law at the start of August after Congress passed it with a veto-proof majority, though the president called the bill “seriously flawed.”