Vice President Mike Pence said only that it was an affirmation of President Donald Trump asking for Mike Flynn's resignation when the former national security adviser filed as a lobbyist for the Muslim country of Turkey recently. He made the comments Thursday to Bret Baier on Fox News.
"The story today that former national security adviser Michael Flynn has filed with the Department of Justice as a foreign agent for making more than $500,000 as a lobbyist essentially for Turkey," Baier asked. "Your reaction to that, given that, doesn't that mean, Mister President, that even if he didn't lie to you about what the Russian ambassador said or didn't say, that you would have had to fire him anyway?"
"Well, let me say," Pence responded, "hearing that story today was the first I'd heard of it. And I fully support the decision that President Trump made to ask for General Flynn's resignation."
"You're disappointed by the story?" Baier asked.
"The first I heard of it," Pence replied, "and I think it is, uh, it is an affirmation of the president's decision to ask General Flynn to resign."
The Associated Press reported on the filing by Flynn admitting that he was contracted to do work that might have benefited the Turkish government, one that has been criticized for becoming more and more despotic under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Paperwork filed Tuesday with the Justice Department's Foreign Agent Registration Unit said Flynn and his firm were voluntarily registering for lobbying from August through November that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey." It was filed by a lawyer on behalf of the former U.S. Army lieutenant general and intelligence chief.
After his firm's work on behalf of a Turkish company was done, Flynn agreed not to lobby for five years after leaving government service and never to represent foreign governments.
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Flynn caused a political firestorm when he admitted that he lied to Pence about his interactions with a Russian ambassador before the election. Charles Krauthammer called it a "cover-up without a crime," but Flynn had to resign over it.
A report from the Free Beacon claimed that the leaks that did in Mike Flynn were orchestrated by the "deep state," a cabal of Obama-era holdovers who were planning to undo Trump's presidency.