WASHINGTON — President Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, received $33,750 from Russia's state-owned television network for a 2015 speech he made in Moscow, documents released Thursday show.
Flynn, who was fired by Trump last month over his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, has previously acknowledged the speaking engagement. But he had not disclosed the amount and said he was paid by his speakers' bureau.
Last year, he told Yahoo News: "I did not take any money from Russia."
Documents released Thursday by Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, include a Nov. 13, 2015 email from a RT TV official indicating the broadcaster "would be covering the payment of General Flynn's fee from our London office."
U.S. intelligence officials view RT as a part of the Kremlin's propaganda machine.
In a letter to Trump, FBI Director James Comey and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Cummings asked whether Flynn disclosed the payments as part of his security clearance and vetting process for his short-lived role as Trump's national security chief.
“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 wrote.
Flynn spokesman Price Floyd told USA TODAY that Flynn notified the Defense Intelligence Agency, his former employer, of the trip before he took it and once he returned, but he had no comment on whether payment amounts were disclosed to the agency.
Cummings questioned whether Flynn violated a provision of the Constitution that would bar him — as a retired military officer — from accepting a payment or "emolument" from a foreign government.
The documents released by Cummings, first reported by Yahoo News, also show two other payments to Flynn tied to Russian companies, of $11,250 each. The payments were made for talks to U.S. subsidiaries of those companies.
Trump forced Flynn's resignation last month over misleading statements Flynn made to Vice President Pence about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.
Last week, Flynn retroactively registered as a foreign agent in connection with his work on behalf of company whose Turkish founder has close ties to Turkey's government. Those documents show Flynn earned $530,000 last year from the firm while serving as a top adviser to Trump's campaign.
Flynn's firm investigated a Turkish opposition leader who lives in exile in the United States.
© 2017 USATODAY.COM