Drip, drip, drip, goes the faucet that leaks information containing ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Seemingly every other day, another piece of the puzzle locks into place. Appearing in this installment of Who Has Shady Russian Ties? is a repeat winner, former national security advisor to Donald Trump (and Turkish lobby man) Michael Flynn. The newest tidbit of information that ties Flynn to Russia involves a fee of $600,000 that Flynn was paid last year to lobby on behalf of Turkish interests. This much we already knew. Now, however, where the payment came from is coming to light, and it’s predictably shady.
Politico is reporting that the payment, originally thought to have been made to Flynn by Turkish-American Business Council Chairman Ekim Alptekin, may have actually sourced from a man named Dmitri “David” Zaikin, who, you guessed it, is in fact Russian. Zaikin has links to Putin via his role as a former executive in Russian energy and mining businesses that Putin had large interests in. The question remains — if Flynn was hired by a man who was working for a powerful Russian, who was Flynn truly working for while serving as a national security advisor to Trump?
The Politico report suggests Alptekin and Zaikin worked together to recruit Flynn in an attempt to push forward Turkish interests in the U.S. that would subsequently benefit Russia. The pairing is odd, seeing as both Alpetekin and Zaikin were not born in Turkey and have no obvious ties to the country outside of official lobbying interests. Zaikin, especially, is Soviet-born and has worked with Putin for years in the Russian oil industry.
Flynn only recently filed the appropriate paperwork that officially acknowledges his role as a lobbyist for Turkey, further clouding doubt over the interests the trio may have had in mind while Flynn was advising the president. Back in March, it was also revealed that Flynn was paid $65,000 for delivering speeches in Russia while in possession of a top-security clearance in the United States, a big no-no.
As they say, follow the money and you will find what you’re looking for. The further the FBI gets down the money-rope with Flynn, the more it seems they will continue to find out about his alleged ties to Russia during Donald Trump’s run for the White House.