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Flynn told associates on Inauguration Day that Russia sanctions would be 'ripped up'

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn reportedly told a business-associate-turned-whistleblower that President Trump would rip up economic sanctions against Russia as one of his first acts in office, thereby allowing a development project Flynn had once been involved with to move forward, The New York Times reports. The controversial Middle Eastern nuclear plant project once involved Russian companies and was promoted by Flynn throughout his brief White House tenure.

"According to the whistleblower, Gen. Flynn reportedly sent a key communication on Inauguration Day indicating that the project was now 'good to go' and directing his business colleagues to move forward," the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), wrote to the chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). The whistleblower contacted Cummings directly, but Cummings said the individual would be willing to speak with Gowdy so long as his or her identity remained protected.

According to the account detailed in [Cummings'] letter, the whistleblower had a conversation on Inauguration Day with Alex Copson of ACU Strategic Partners [...] During the conversation, Mr. Copson told the whistle-blower that "this is the best day of my life" because it was "the start of something I've been working on for years, and we are good to go." Mr. Copson told the whistleblower that Mr. Flynn had sent him a text message during Mr. Trump's inaugural address, directing him to tell others involved in the nuclear project to continue developing their plans.

"This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people," Mr. Copson said. [The New York Times]

The New York Times adds that "the account ... suggests that Mr. Flynn had a possible economic incentive for the United States to forge a closer relationship with Russia." Last week, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contact with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Read more here.