Friday, March 31, 2017
-and starring Mike Flynn as Bullwinkle
The Guardian reports the President*s canary, Mike Flynn, seems to have fallen for the oldest trick in the Society of Soviet Spies Playbook:
Flynn and Lokhova were introduced to each other at the end of a dinner attended by 20 guests who included Sir Richard Dearlove – the former head of MI6 – and Prof Christopher Andrew, the official MI5 historian.
Flynn’s erratic conduct had troubled US intelligence officials for some time, multiple sources have told the Guardian.
One concern involved an encounter with a Russian-British graduate student, Svetlana Lokhova, whom Flynn met on a trip to Cambridge in February 2014.
At the time, Flynn was one of the top US spies and the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which provides information to the Pentagon about the military strengths and intentions of other states and terrorist groups.
A historian and a leading expert on Soviet espionage, Lokhova has claimed to have unique access to previously classified Soviet-era material in Moscow. She says her forthcoming book makes groundbreaking revelations about Soviet military intelligence operations run by the GRU – Russia’s military spy agency.
Flynn says the meeting with Lokhova was “incidental” and lasted just 20 minutes. However, Andrew has said Flynn invited Lokhova to accompany him on his next official visit to Moscow to help with simultaneous translation. The trip fell through soon afterwards because of Putin’s annexation of Crimea, Andrew wrote in the Sunday Times.
The Guardian understands Flynn and Lokhova remained in email contact, conducted through an unclassified channel. In one email exchange described by Andrew, Flynn signed himself as “General Misha”, Russian for Mike.
Lokhova also listed Flynn as one of four referees who would provide selective endorsements for her book, which is expected to detail how Russian spies penetrated the US atomic weapons programme.
Though there is no suggestion of impropriety, Flynn would have been expected to “self report” any conversation with an unknown person, especially with links to an “adversary” country, such as Russia.
Flynn did not disclose his conversation with Lokhova, the Wall Street Journal reported. Whatever concerns the US intelligence agencies had over Flynn, he retained his top-level security clearance.