Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was paid nearly $34,000 to speak at a 2015 gala in Moscow honoring the Russian propaganda outlet RT, according to documents released Thursday by congressional investigators.
Flynn has previously acknowledged being paid to speak at the 2015 event but has not disclosed the amount. He resigned last month after just 24 days as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser after it became clear that he misled officials about the nature of his conversations with Russia’s ambassador.
Documents released Thursday by Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, show RT paid $45,000 for Flynn to appear at the gala, of which nearly $34,000 went to Flynn and the remainder went to his speaker’s bureau, Leading Authorities. The documents also show Flynn got two payments of $11,250 from a Russian cargo airline company and a Russia-based cybersecurity firm.
A spokesman for Flynn, Price Floyd, said those second two payments were for speeches given in Washington.
“Like many former government workers and military officers, Gen. Flynn signed with a speaker’s bureau, and so what you’re seeing in these documents is the result of that,” Floyd said. He added that Flynn informed the Defense Intelligence Agency, where he was director when he retired from the military in 2014, both when he left for Russia and when he returned to the United States after attending the gala.
But Cummings said he believed Flynn’s actions are unprecedented.
“I cannot recall any time in our nation’s history when the President selected as his National Security Advisor someone who violated the Constitution by accepting tens of thousands of dollars from an agent of a global adversary that attacked our democracy,” Cummings said. “I also cannot recall a time when the President and his top advisers seemed so disinterested in the truth about that individual’s work on behalf of foreign nations—whether due to willful ignorance or knowing indifference.”