(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Mike Pence is standing by his claim in March that he first learned of Mike Flynn’s foreign lobbying from news reports, despite the revelation that the Trump transition team was notified before inauguration that Flynn was under federal investigation for those lobbying ties.
The New York Times reported that Flynn had informed now-White House counsel Don McGahn on Jan. 4 and Flynn’s lawyers had informed Trump’s transition lawyers a second time after that. By then, Flynn had already been chosen as Trump’s national security adviser and Pence was head of Trump’s transition team.
“The Vice President stands by his comments in March upon first hearing the news regarding General Flynn’s tied to Turkey and fully supports the President’s decision to ask for General Flynn’s investigation,” a spokesperson for the vice president said on Thursday.
In a March interview with Fox News, Pence said it was the first time he was hearing of Flynn’s lobbying ties.
“Let me say hearing that story today was the first I heard of it and I fully support the decision that President Trump made to ask for General Flynn’s resignation,” Pence said, adding he’s “disappointed.”
Flynn’s lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group, did lobbying work in the months leading up to his White House appointment that may have benefited the Turkish government, according to paperwork filed with the Justice Department in March on behalf of Flynn and his firm.
The March filing indicated a payment of $530,000 for lobbying work he did in 2016 for a Dutch company that “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.”
Flynn resigned on Feb. 13 after it was revealed he had misled the Vice President and other Trump administration officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
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