US President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn was reportedly offered $15 million to help forcibly remove US-based Turkish opposition figure Fethullah Gulen and deliver him to Turkey.
Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., discussed the alleged plot against Gulen with Turkish representatives in December before Flynn was appointed national security adviser, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The alleged plot to remove Gulen was first revealed by the Journal in March 2017, citing former CIA director James Woolsey.
Woolsey told the newspaper that he attended a meeting in a hotel room in New York City last December where Flynn discussed “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away.”
Friday’s report describes a second meeting the same month involving Flynn at a New York City restaurant. It was at this encounter that the $15 million payment was discussed.
The Turkish government accuses Gulen, who lives in the US state of Pennsylvania, of being behind last year’s failed coup in Turkey.
Flynn was forced to resign after misleading the White House about a meeting with the former Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, before Trump took office in January.
The new report is the latest of a string of allegations facing Flynn, a retired general and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at the Pentagon.
The matter is said to have emerged in a US Justice Department investigation into alleged Russian interference in last year’s US presidential election.
Robert Mueller, the Justice Department’s special counsel investigating Russian manipulation of the 2016 US election, has already indicted Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and another senior fundraiser on charges including money laundering.
Mueller is now reported to have gathered sufficient evidence to bring charges against Flynn and his son, which would bring his investigation another leap closer to Trump.
American intelligence agencies claim that Russia interfered last year in the US presidential election to try to help Trump, who was then the Republican Party’s presidential candidate, defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.