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Whistleblower: At inauguration, Flynn texted on nuclear plan

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Gen. Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump leaves Federal Court in Washington DC

President Donald Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn told a business associate that he would make sure economic sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up" as one of his first orders of business in the White House, a whistleblower told congressional investigators.

The New York Times was first to report the letter on Wednesday, claiming it represents "the strongest evidence to date that the Trump administration wanted to end the sanctions immediately, and suggests that Mr. Flynn had a possible economic incentive for the United States to forge a closer relationship with Russian Federation".

The Wall Street Journal reported in September that while in the White House Flynn promoted a project that would involve building dozens of nuclear plants around the Middle East. Cummings described the account in a letter Wednesday to the panel's Republican chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC. "These grave allegations compel a full, credible, and bipartisan congressional investigation". Mr. Copson told the whistle-blower 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.

The whistleblower told House Democrats that while Trump spoke in January, Flynn texted from his seat on the Capitol steps to Alex Copson, the managing director of ACU Strategic Partners and the nuclear project's main promoter.

Cummings said the whistleblower, whom he did not identify in the letter, "fears retaliation", but would speak with Gowdy if he agrees to protect the whistleblower's identity. Gowdy did not immediately respond to Associated Press requests for comment but previously has referred letters from House Democrats about Flynn to Mueller's inquiry.

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"Mike has been putting everything in place for us", Copson said, according to the whistleblower.

On December 1, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras announced that Flynn had reached a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller to cooperate in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The whistleblower said Copson showed him his phone with Flynn's text message; it was sent at 12:11 p.m., about 10 minutes into Trump's inaugural speech. On Inauguration Day, Copson reportedly said "this is the best day of my life" because of "the start of something I've been working on for years, and we are good to go". Flynn served as an advisor to the group between April 2015 and June 2016, according to his government disclosures, while it was advocating the nuclear reactor plan. Cummings said he believes Republican leaders of the Oversight Committee should approve a subpoena so they can "pursue these allegations against General Flynn in a responsible way".

"I do not bring this whistle-blower to your attention lightly", Mr. Cummings said.

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