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Flynn said sanctions would be 'ripped up'

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December 07, 2017

A whistleblower says Michael Flynn told a business associate Russia sanctions would be "ripped up".

As Donald Trump delivered his presidential inaugural address last January, his national security adviser Michael Flynn told a former business associate in text messages that a private plan to build nuclear reactors in the Mideast was "good to go" and that US sanctions hobbling the plan would soon be "ripped up," a whistleblower told congressional investigators.

The witness did not specify which sanctions Flynn was referring to in his texts. But the nuclear project that Flynn and his business associate had worked on together was stymied by US financial sanctions on Russia.

The witness's account, made public on Wednesday by the ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, raises new concerns about the extent to which Flynn may have blurred his private and public interests during his brief stint inside the White House.

Trump fired Flynn in February, saying he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US. Flynn, a retired US Army lieutenant general, pleaded guilty in federal court last week to one count of making false statements to the FBI and is now a cooperating witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into possible coordination between Trump's campaign and Russian intermediaries during the 2016 election.

Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said the whistleblower's allegations raise concerns that Flynn improperly aided the nuclear project after joining the White House as one of Trump's top national security officials.

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