Retired Gen. Michael Flynn was paid $US11,250 by Russia’s top cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky, in 2015, according to new documents obtained and published by the Congressional Oversight Committee on Wednesday. Flynn was also paid $US11,250 by the Russian charter cargo airline Volga-Dnepr Airlines, according to the documents.
Flynn was paid for his work with both companies while he still had top-secret level security clearance, a year after he was fired as head of the Defence Intelligence Agency, the Wall Street Journal’s Shane Harris noted.
Kasperksy said in a statement provided to Business Insider that the company had “paid Gen. Flynn a speaker fee for remarks at the 2015 Government Cybersecurity Forum in Washington, DC.”
Flynn, who was forced to resign in early February for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his phone calls with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, was also paid $US33,750 to speak at gala celebrating the 10th anniversary of Russia’s state-sponsored news agency, RT, in December 2015.
The oversight committee received the documents earlier this month from Flynn’s speaker’s bureau, Leading Authorities, after requesting information from the bureau relating to Flynn’s speaking engagements or appearances “in connection with RT, any agent or affiliate of RT, or any agent or instrumentality of the Russian government.”
The committee had previously called on the Defence Department to investigate whether Flynn had run afoul of the US Constitution by being paid to speak at the RT gala. The lawmakers pointed to a report released in January by the US intelligence community concluding that Russia Today, as part of Russia’s “state-run propaganda machine,” served as “a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences.”
The findings were contained in the community’s report about Russia’s attempt to influence the US election.
Flynn told The Washington Post that he had been paid to speak at the gala, but had not previously disclosed the amount. He also did not disclose his work for either Kaspersky or Volga-Dnepr Airlines.
“I cannot recall any time in our nation’s history when the President selected as his National Security Advisor someone who violated the Constitution by accepting tens of thousands of dollars from an agent of a global adversary that attacked our democracy,” Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump on Thursday.
“I also cannot recall a time when the President and his top advisers seemed so disinterested in the truth about that individual’s work on behalf of foreign nations — whether due to willful ignorance or knowing indifference.”
The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.