Russian Tech Firm Confirms Payment to Former Trump Advisor Michael Flynn
AP Photo / Evan Vucci
Russian technology firm Kaspersky Labs has confirmed paying former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
A Kaspersky Labs subsidiary, Kaspersky Government Security Solutions, paid Flynn to speak at a government cybersecurity forum held in Washington D.C. in 2015.
The company said that Flynn had attended the forum to speak alongside leading political and IT experts before he took up his post in the White House.
"As a private company, Kaspersky Labs is not affiliated with any government, but is proud of its cooperation with the authorities of many countries and international law enforcement organizations in the fight against cybercrime," the company said in a statement.
Documents published by the Congressional Oversight Committee on Thursday showed that Flynn received more than $50,000 from Russian companies in 2015. As well as receiving a fee from Kaspersky Labs, Flynn was paid money by Kremlin-backed television channel RT and a U.S. air cargo company affiliated with the Volga-Dnepr Group.
Flynn's contact with Russian officials and businesses has fallen under close scrutiny after he resigned amid claims that he secretly discussed
sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to Washington before the
Trump administration came to power.
Flynn reportedly angered top White House officials by denying that he had discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak– only to change his answers when confronted by the press.
In his resignation letter, Flynn said that he had “inadvertently briefed the Vice President-elect and others with incomplete information” on his phone calls with Kislyak.
Other members of the Trump campaign team have also been accused of being in "constant contact" with Russian authorities before the U.S. election took place in November last year.
Government sources told CNN in February that “communications between campaign staff and representatives of foreign governments were not unusual,” but that the calls had stood out due to officials' high-ranking status in the Trump team. Many have used the allegations to raise concerns that Trump was "too close" to Putin before taking office.
The White House has denied all claims.