Flynn files new financial form reporting ties to data firm

  • FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. Flynn is detailing previously undisclosed paid speaking engagements, business positions and income from the presidential transition that he left off his public financial disclosure. A person close to Flynn tells The Associated Press that the filing shows Flynn entered into a consulting agreement with the British parent company of data firm Cambridge Analytica, which aided the Trump campaign. The person says Flynn didn’t perform work or accept payment under the agreement. He terminated it after Trump’s election victory. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) Carolyn Kaster

Associated Press
Friday, August 04, 2017

President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, disclosed a brief advisory role with a firm related to a controversial data analysis company that aided the Trump campaign, according to a filing Flynn submitted to the White House.

The disclosure of Flynn’s link to Cambridge Analytica came in an amended public financial filing in which the retired U.S. Army lieutenant general also discloses income that includes payments from the Trump transition team. The filing was made public by the White House on Friday in response to an Associated Press reporter’s request.

The amended disclosure lists Flynn as an adviser to SCL Group, a Virginia-based company related to Cambridge Analytica, the data mining and analysis firm that worked with Trump’s campaign.

A person close to Flynn told the AP that just before the end of the campaign, Flynn agreed to do consulting for the firm, but he never performed any work or accepted any payment as part of the agreement with SCL Group. The person spoke to AP on condition of anonymity Thursday to describe details of the filing made to the White House.

The details of Flynn’s role with SCL weren’t fully laid out, the person said, noting that Flynn terminated his involvement shortly after Trump won the presidency.

Cambridge Analytica is backed by the family of Robert Mercer, a hedge fund manager who also supported the campaign and other conservative candidates and causes. Trump administration chief strategist Steve Bannon was a vice president of Cambridge Analytica before he joined the Trump campaign.

Media reports in Britain and some statements by leaders involved in the pro-Brexit campaign had linked Cambridge Analytica to the successful effort in 2016 to pull Britain out of the European Union. But the company said in a statement Friday that it did not work on the referendum campaign.

Democratic lawmakers and Trump critics have seized on Cambridge Analytica’s role as they’ve pushed congressional investigators to scrutinize the Trump campaign’s data operation as part of probes into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. But the Trump campaign has played down the firm’s involvement. Campaign officials have said they used the company only for a short time for television advertising and paid some of the firm’s talented data employees, as the AP previously reported .

Flynn’s previous filing, submitted to the White House and Office of Government Ethics in March, listed at least $1.3 million in earnings, including between $50,000 and $100,000 from his consulting company, Flynn Intel Group Inc. The latest filing lists at least $1.8 million in income.

Flynn’s amended filing comes some six months after he was ousted from the White House for misleading the vice president about conversations he had with the then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. It also comes as Special Counsel Robert Mueller and congressional committees are scrutinizing Flynn’s business deals and foreign connections.

The person close to Flynn said he disclosed the information in an amended filing to make sure the “public record is accurate and transparent.” The person noted that Flynn and his legal team have spent months piecing together the information necessary for the filing without the assistance of the White House counsel’s office or the Office of Government Ethics.

In the filing, Flynn reports earning about $28,000 from the Trump presidential transition and more than $5,000 as a consultant to an aborted plan to build nuclear power plants across the Middle East. The consulting connection with a group of companies involved in the power plant proposal had been disclosed in Flynn’s previous filing, but it had not indicated that he had received payment.

Flynn’s new filing also provided more details about his consulting work for NJK Holding Corporation, a firm headed by Iranian-American multi-millionaire Nasser Kazeminy. The filing shows that Flynn was paid more than $140,000 for his roles as adviser and consultant to Minneapolis-based NJK.