Michael Flynn Complains as DoD Seeks $38k He Received From Russia

Michael Flynn, the disgraced former national security adviser under Donald Trump, has criticized the U.S. Army for attempting to retrieve nearly $40,000 he received from Russia in 2015.

Retired Lt. Gen. Flynn, who was convicted of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia before being pardoned by Trump, accused the Department of Defense of trying to "embarrass" him by trying to get money he was paid by the Kremlin.

In a May 2 letter, the Army said Flynn may have violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution—which states that no person holding office can accept a gift from a foreign state—after he was paid by state-controlled television network Russia Today to attend a gala in December 2015.

Flynn was interviewed on stage at the event, where he was also seated alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Michael flynn $40k
Michael Flynn, former national security adviser, leaves federal court on December 1, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Flynn has criticized the U.S. Army for attempting to retrieve nearly $40,000 he received from Russia in 2015. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The letter states that between December 10-13, 2015, Russia Today transferred $45,386 to public speaking company Leading Authorities, Inc. [LAI] of which Flynn received $33,750.

Flynn also received $4,807 in compensation for his travel, hotel and visa costs in order to attend the gala in Moscow. The Army is now seeking to recoup $38,557 from Flynn.

"The Army has determined that you did not obtain the necessary approvals before engaging in employment activities with Russia Today (RT), a foreign government-controlled entity," the letter said.

The DoD and Michael Flynn's lawyer were contacted for comment.

Flynn, who has since turned into one of the leading figures in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement, told the far-right Real America's Voice network that the DoD is targeting him as they "do not want me coming back into government in any capacity."

"It's just another dig, another means to embarrass, another way that they want me to shut up. And I'm not about to, it's not in my nature, I'm not designed that way," Flynn said on Tuesday.

"And I will tell you that it actually stiffens my backbone even more," Flynn added. "They're just going to reach into my retirement and they're going to take some money out—it means something but at the end of the day, this country means a heck of a lot more."

Flynn also said it is "stunning" that the Army has accused him of violating the Emoluments Clause and trying to "persecute me by tagging my pay" because of the "transparency that I provided" at the time with regards to his trip to Moscow.

In 2017, Putin told NBC News' Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, that he did not speak with Flynn at the gala in question.

"I made my speech. Then we talked about some other stuff. And I got up and left. And then afterwards I was told, 'You know there was an American gentleman, he was involved in some things. He used to be in the security services,'" Putin said.

"That's it. I didn't even really talk to him. That's the extent of my acquaintance with Mr Flynn," he added.