President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn told a former business associate that sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" early in the new presidency, according to a whistle-blower's account made public on Wednesday.
Mr. Flynn believed that ending the sanctions could allow a business project he had once participated in to move forward, according to the whistle-blower.
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn told a former business associate "within minutes" of President Donald Trump being sworn in on Inauguration Day that economic sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" once Trump gets into office, according to a whistleblower. "I am going to celebrate today", and added, according to the whistleblower: "This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people".
"And he apparently went on to say Flynn was making sure the sanctions would be "'ripped up' as one of his first orders of business".
These statements from Flynn to Alex Copson, managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, reveal Flynn's attempt to "manipulate the course of worldwide nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners", Democratic representative Elijah Cummings wrote in a letter Wednesday.
"When the whistle-blower asked why the United States needed to be involved in a Middle East nuclear project, Mr. Copson explained the US would provide military support to 'defend these installations, ' " the letter said.
Copson, according to the whistleblower, said Obama's sanctions had "f**ked everything up in my nuclear deal with the sanctions". Cummings said his office could not verify the whistleblower's story, and whether Copson was telling the whistleblower the truth, without subpoenaed documents. The texts were timestamped as being sent just as President Trump was delivering his Inaugural Address, the whistleblower said. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight committee, to Chairman Trey Gowdy, a Republican, and shared with ABC News.
The individual met with Alex Copson on Inauguration Day.
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The office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was aware of the witness's account and asked Cummings not to release the information until the special counsel had taken "certain investigative steps", which are now complete, Cummings wrote.
The business colleague who texted with Flynn later recounted that he also suggested sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" as one of the administration's first acts, according to the whistleblower.
Flynn's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment on the latest claims.
It also raised fresh questions on what Trump knew about Flynn's business plans when he appointed the retired three-star general to serve as his national security advisor. The whistleblower isn't named, but Cummings promised in the letter to share the person's identity with Gowdy if it remains confidential and Gowdy agrees to speak with the whistleblower.
In various filings in 2016 and 2017, Flynn did not initially disclose his connection to ACU and foreign contacts he made while advising the firm.