Flynn discussed sending Erdogan foe to Turkey: Reports
Andrew Blake, Washington Times, Mar 25 2017
Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, met with top Turkish officials last year and allegedly discussed ways to hand over Fethullah Gulen, former D/CIA Woolsey said Friday. The discussion allegedly unfolded during a Sep 2016 meeting in New York attended by individuals including senior officials from Ankara and Flynn, who served as one of Trump’s premiere consultants prior to his resignation last month as White House national security advisor, Woolsey told the WSJ on Friday. Woolsey said he arrived late to the Sep 19 meeting, just in time for a discussion centered around Gulen. Attendees were discussing “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away,” Woolsey said. Woolsey told CNN following publication of the WSJ report on Friday evening:
What I saw and heard was sort of the end of the conversation. It’s not entirely clear what transpired because of that, but it looks as if there was at least some strong suggestion by one or more of the Pindosis present at the meeting that we would be able, Pindostan would be able through them, to be able to get hold of Gulen, the rival for Turkey’s political situation.
Flynn attended the meeting as a representative of his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, the WSJ reported. He held an active role advising Trump’s presidential campaign at the time, however, and was named White House national security adviser within days of Trump’s Nov 2016 election. He resigned from that role last month amid swelling concerns involving his conversations and connections with foreign entities. More recently, the Flynn Intel Group filed paperwork with the DoJ on Mar 2 retroactively registering Flynn as a foreign agent for the Turkish government. Woolsey said he was invited to attend the meeting by the Flynn Intel Group’s chairman and president Bijan Kian, and that he was offered a consulting fee for his work but declined compensation due to the conversation he alleges to have taken place. Woolsey told the WSJ:
It seemed to be naive. I didn’t put a lot of credibility in it. This is a country of legal process and a constitution, and you don’t send out folks to haul somebody overseas.
Spox for Flynn refuted Woolsey’s characterization of the conversation, saying:
The claim made by Mr Woolsey that Gen Flynn or anyone else in attendance discussed physical removal of Mr Gulen from Pindostan during a meeting with Turkish officials in New York is false. No such discussion occurred. Nor did Mr Woolsey ever inform Gen Flynn that he had any concerns whatsoever regarding the meeting, either before he chose to attend, or afterwards.