It now appears that President-elect Donald Trump’s controversial national security adviser may have much more nefarious Russian ties than anyone else in Trump’s future administration.
A Bloomberg report found a recent link between former Lt. General Michael Flynn and the Russian KGB.
Earlier this year, Flynn partnered with Subu Kota and his dubious tech company called Brainwave Science. Kota is one of two board of directors at the Boston-based firm.
However, in 1996, Kota plead guilty to trying to sell stolen biotech material to a KGB espionage agency. Fortunately for the U.S., the Russian spy Kota sought to sell the stolen tech to was an FBI agent. During many years of court proceedings, federal prosecutors presented damning evidence which showed meetings between Kota and a real KGB agent from 1985 to 1990. According to prosecutors, Kota was also part of a spy ring that profited hundreds of thousands of dollars selling stolen U.S. missile defense technology to the Russians. Kota vehemently denied be a part of a spy ring and reached a plea agreement in the biotech case which required him to admit to selling a sketch of a military helicopter to his co-defendant, who was subsequently convicted of being a KGB spy.
Flynn served over 30 years in the military, rising to the position of Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. However, in 2014 he was fired by President Barack Obama due to policy disagreements. Flynn then formed a private consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, which began doing business with some defense contractors and cyber security firms. He began doing business with Brainwave Science last spring.
The former Army officer has been widely criticized for his controversial conspiracy theories as well as numerous offensive remarks, but also for his other close ties to Russia. Flynn has repeatedly declined request during the past month to address his company’s business relationships. However, Flynn did make a paid speech for Russia Today, a Russian state-run news agency, and in 2015 sat with President Vladimir Putin at a dinner in Moscow celebrating RT’s anniversary. Jason Miller, a spokesperson for the Trump transition team, said in an email that Flynn never had physical contact nor ever spoke with Kota and that he has severed ties with Brainwave Science.
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Meanwhile, in a phone interview on Thursday, Kota characterized his criminal conviction and past dealings with the KGB as misunderstandings. While he did acknowledge that he sold biotech material to a federal agent posing as a spy, he claimed that the incident was a patent dispute, not espionage.
Week after week, the controversies surrounding members of Trump’s future administration continues to pile up like rotten garbage at the bottom of a trash chute.
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