Trump’s ties to Russia were certainly exacerbated when his former National Security Adviser, Mike Flynn, resigned in disgrace after lying to Vice President Mike Pence who then inadvertently lied to the nation on Flynn’s behalf. Now it seems that Mike Flynn was also working with Turkey as a foreign agent.
According to a report from the Associated Press:
“Paperwork filed Tuesday with the Justice Department’s Foreign Agent Registration Unit said Flynn and his firm were voluntarily registering for lobbying from August through November that ‘could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.’ It was filed by a lawyer on behalf of the former U.S. Army lieutenant-general and intelligence chief.”
Failure for Mike Flynn to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act would have been felonious and possibly carried a prison sentence for Flynn.
That was apparently just fine with the Turkish businessman that had hired Mike Flynn’s private intelligence group, Flynn Intel Inc., and paid the hefty sum of at least $530,000 for his services.
Mike Flynn was also Trump’s security and foreign policy adviser on the campaign and was working for Ekim Alptekin who is involved with real estate, construction, and other endeavors. Alptekin was rather perturbed by Flynn’s registering as a foreign agent and insisted that he is a private businessman and not involved with the Turkish government.
“I disagree with the filing,” Alptekin said. “It would be different if I was working for the government of Turkey, but I am not taking directions from anyone in the government.”
However, a cursory Google search will bring up Alptekin’s Linked In profile which, while not revealing that he works directly for the Turkish government, it does show that he has very close dealings with it.
Alptekin, according to his profile, is on the Foreign Economic Relations Board, the European Council on Foreign Relations, and, this one is a little odd, works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania.
The Foreign Economic Relations Board, as of 2014, was under the control of the Turkish Economy Ministry. Ipso facto, Alptekin may be indirectly working for the Turkish government.
The White House is, of course, denying that Trump had any knowledge of Flynn’s involvement with the Turkish businessman. Which is odd since this was first reported in November by the New York Times after Flynn had ended his relationship just 3 days before he was appointed to the position of National Security Adviser. And we all know how much Trump loves to hate the New York Times.
Trump’s ties to Russia are very troubling and Turkey could simply be the ice cream served on the side of the cake. But what would be the icing?
Last month, Trump was awarded rights to his own name in China. Now while not seeming like such a big deal, this also brings up what is quickly becoming Trump’s Achilles Heel: The dossier compiled by former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, that sent Trump spiraling into his fake news temper tantrum which has been raging ever since.
Trump’s ties to Russia and Turkey aren’t the only connections dogging the President
The dossier, while making some rather lurid claims about Trump’s habits in Russian hotel rooms, also made a claim in regards to China. The gist was that the Trump campaign was rather pleased with all the attention being focused specifically on Russia and ignoring his ties to China.
As it turns out, Trump was courting wealthy Chinese businessmen to finance Trump Tower in New Jersey. Now, while seeking investors abroad isn’t an issue, the quid pro quo of the reached agreement was dubious at best. Trump had even produced a video to solicit millions of dollars from the Chinese while utilizing a government visa program that benefits foreign investors.
According to a report from Bloomberg published in March of 2016:
The video was produced to help raise tens of millions of dollars through a controversial government program that offers expedited visas to foreign investors overwhelmingly from China. While the program has many supporters who argue it attracts foreign capital and creates jobs at no U.S. taxpayer cost, congressional overseers and Homeland Security have raised sharp concerns. Applicants are sometimes cleared in less than a month and the critics say the government is essentially selling visas to wealthy foreigners with no proven skills, paving the way for money laundering and compromising national security.
As we move forward, we are seeing much more of this dossier verified by the week. How long will it be before we discover the whole story behind Trump’s international ties and what it means to have a President in the pocket of so many foreign powers? Only time will tell.
(featured image via screen grab from Flynn’s speech at the RNC)