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Flynn said that Russia sanctions would be 'ripped up,' whistleblower says

  • President Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn told a business associate that he would make sure economic sanctions against Russia would be "ripped up" as one of his first orders of business in the White House, a whistleblower said.
  • Flynn told the business associate that a project they were working on to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East was "good to go" and directed him to push forward on the plan
  • The whistleblower's account is included in a letter from Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings to Republican Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
Gen. Michael Flynn(C), former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, leaves Federal Court in Washington, DC, December 1, 2017.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
Gen. Michael Flynn(C), former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, leaves Federal Court in Washington, DC, December 1, 2017.

President Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn told a business associate that he would make sure economic sanctions against Russia would be "ripped up" as one of his first orders of business in the White House, a whistleblower told congressional investigators.

Flynn told the business associate that a project they were working on to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East was "good to go" and directed him to push forward on the plan, the whistleblower said, according to a letter written by Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee.

The whistleblower's account is included in a letter from Cummings to Republican Chairman Trey Gowdy. Cummings wrote that an "authentic, credible, and reliable" source had brought him information regarding the retired Army lieutenant general.

The Wall Street Journal reported in September that while in the White House Flynn promoted a project that would involve building dozens of nuclear plants around the Middle East.

The unnamed whistleblower said that on Inauguration Day he met with Alex Copson, who had worked with Flynn on the plan.

Minutes after Trump had been sworn in, Copson told the whistleblower that he had received a text message from Flynn saying that they were "good to go" and to contact his other partners to "let them know to put things in place."

The information suggested that Flynn "sought to manipulate the course of international nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners," Cummings wrote.

Copson is managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners. Flynn served as an advisor to the group between April 2015 and June 2016, according to his government disclosures, while it was advocating the nuclear reactor plan.

Throughout 2015, Flynn traveled multiple times to the Middle East to discuss the project with foreign government officials. ACU funded the travel, which Flynn failed to disclose on his security clearance renewal application in 2016 and to background check investigators.

An attorney for Flynn did not respond to a request for comment from CNBC. Efforts to reach Copson were unsuccessful.

Here is Cummings' full letter:

On Friday, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in a voluntary interview conducted only four days following his alleged text messages to Copson. He is now cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating ties between Trump's top advisors and Russia.

"Mike has been putting everything in place for us," Copson said, according to the whistleblower. He added, "This is going to make a lot of people very wealthy."

Committee investigation

Cummings' five-page letter to Gowdy calls for a slew of new subpoeanas and castigates the committee chairman for his "refusal to investigate."

The House Democrat called for subpoenas to be issued to White House chief of staff John Kelly, Flynn, Copson and others.

"When you took over as Chairman this summer, you refused to press the White House to comply with our bipartisan request for documents, and you disregarded new evidence we uncovered about General Flynn's secret effort to work with Russia on a plan to build nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia," he wrote.

Gowdy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

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