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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 12th May 2017 > THEIR MAN IN MOSCOW

THEIR MAN IN MOSCOW

Michael Flynn, Trump’s ffirst national security adviser, had alarming contacts with Russians and Turkish lobbyists

SPY TALK

YEARS BACK, when I was researching a story about how the CIA had overlooked Russian moles in its ranks, I applied for my own security ile. I wanted to know what investigators had dug up when they delayed granting me a top-secret clearance for a slot in Army Intelligence during the Vietnam War. As it turned out, they had discovered an alarming piece of information: I had been fired from a summer job years earlier at Sugarman’s shoe store in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

According to my declassified ile, the agents rushed down to Cape Cod to interview the proprietor. And Mr. Sugarman gave the agents the shocking story: He’d fired me because I “was no good with women’s shoes.” That derogatory item, along with a visit to my campus shrink the previous year for counseling after my girlfriend dumped me, held up my clearance for weeks.

If only the FBI had been so zealous in the case of Michael Flynn, the ousted White House national security adviser. More wreckage from Flynn’s career surfaced on April 25, when the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Oversight Committee said he had failed to disclose what had been reported for months: payments totaling over $65,000 in 2015 from companies linked to Moscow, including its propaganda arm, Russia Today, or RT. Flynn had also failed to register as a foreign agent after accepting a $600,000 contract with a lobbyist linked not only to Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan but also to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else,” Jason Chafetz of Utah, chairman the committee, said, “and it appears as if he did take that money. It was inappropriate, and there are repercussions for a violation of law.”

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