At the White House, asked whether Trump knew about Flynn's work before he appointed him as national security adviser, press secretary Sean Spicer said, "I don't believe that that was known".
"I don't believe that was known" were Spicer's exact words.
In paperwork filed with the Justice Department's Foreign Agent Registration Unit, Flynn acknowledged that his lobbying "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey". During the general-election campaign, Michael Flynn and his consultancy did work for a Dutch firm that may have benefited the government of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Flynn Intel Group Inc. had disclosed to Congress its work for Inovo BV, but had not previously registered with the DOJ as working on behalf of a foreign government.
Adding insult to injury, Alptekin told Associated Press he wanted the the Flynn Intelligence Group to reimburse a portion of his $530,000 in payments because he wasn't satisfied with the company's performance. Any U.S. citizen who does such work for a foreign government is required to register as a foreign agent and disclose their work to the Justice Department. The results were also aimed at being distributed to "third parties" but the project terminated early according to the filings.
Gulen is a Turkish cleric who lives in the United States. President Erdoğan has attempted to blame Gülen for the failed July 2016 coup that sought to oust him. The meeting, as described in the filings, was to provide a better understanding of Turkey's political climate "as background for the project".
Flynn Intel Group shut down its operations in November 2016, according to the filing.
Vice President said only that it was an affirmation of President Trump asking for Mike Flynn's resignation when the former national security advisor filed as a lobbyist for the Muslim country of Turkey recently. Spicer did not say whether McGahn passed his knowledge of Flynn's work to anyone else on the team, or why he didn't, if that was the case. But to play it safe, it made a decision to file the necessary paperwork under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
"Flynn Intel Group was to retain an experienced filming and production crew in order to develop a short film piece on the results of its investigation, and a public affairs firm to utilize for public affairs as needed".
Alptekin has continued to deny that Inovo BV is linked to the Turkish government. Inovo's client was a private natural gas export company based in Israel, though the FARA filing did not specify the company's name.
What's more, to appreciate the full context of the story, it's worth pausing to appreciate the fact that Flynn, throughout the campaign season, accused Hillary Clinton of being at the center of pay-to-play controversies involving federal governments.