Rachel Maddow opened this segment by talking about Judge Emmit Sullivan's apparent mistake when he said Michael Flynn was still working for Turkey while he worked in the White House. Maddow thinks Sullivan may have gotten it right the first time.
"Now, it's not clear how much Michael Flynn agreed to this, but I do think that these are worthwhile inquiries," Julia Ainsley responded.
"I mean, that's why I've been inquiring about it for such a long time. Why did this request come up? And yes, there was push back. People in the FBI said 'look, Turkey sent over boxes and boxes of these materials under the Obama administration. We went through everything, and we didn't find anything new. And without new material, we're not going to have a different conclusion. We already reached that conclusion. And with this new request that came at the beginning of the Trump administration, they weren't providing new information. so the result was going to be the same'," she said.
"So -- and to be clear, when the prosecutor today asserted in court that his work, Flynn's work for Turkey ended in what Flynn filed in terms of saying that his contract ended as this contract for which he was previously a foreign unregistered agent. It ended in mid-November. That does match what Flynn filed," Maddow said.
"But as you point out, after he was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the government of Turkey and passed when he said that contract was over, we at least know that during the transition in mid-December, he was still taking meetings with Turkey, talking about trying to deliver to them the thing that they had been paying him to deliver, including as you mentioned, the possibility that they might actually kidnap this guy in order to get it done."
(Maddow is referring to President Erdogan's attempts to kidnap Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who now lives in Pennsylvania, and return him to Turkey.)
"That's when things get so squishy during a transition, particularly in this administration when there are so many people who had business ties to governments and foreign countries before they came in," Ainsley said. "So when do you delineate between your business and you did before you became part this administration and your work trying to fuel U.S. foreign policy and get a feeling of who your partners will be on a world stage before you come into your position at the White House."
"Jared Kushner has had some of these same questions raised about his meetings. Michael Flynn could have been -- and he did as it shows in those 302s that we saw yesterday, the interviews with the FBI agents, he did reach out to multiple foreign officials. it just seems that his contacts with Russia and with Turkey were a little cozier than they were with almost anyone else. And you point out that money. You disclose he was paid $600,000. But as we reported, I think he was offered millions. We reported he was offered millions if he was able to actually come through on this kidnapping thing."
"Now again, not clear that he agreed to that or what really happened there, but these were all propositions. Whether or not the judge just got the date wrong, could be, or it could be that he knows more and thinks that he continued to be influenced while he was in the White House. And he made that case today," Ainsley concluded.
"Yeah. And once you've taken hundreds of thousands of dollars secretly from a foreign government, it does tend to cast a pall over your subsequent interactions," Maddow said.