Flynn begins advising ACU Strategic Partners. According to financial disclosure forms, he received more than $5,000 from the company. At ACU, Flynn reportedly advocated for the company’s plan to build nuclear reactors in Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Flynn claims he later also became an adviser to IP3, a company formed in 2016 by Michael Hewitt, who reportedly had been previously affiliated with ACU. (IP3 denies ever working with Flynn. ACU has disputed characterizations of its relationship with Flynn.)
One of the enduring questions regarding the Trump campaign’s collusion with the Russian government is whether there was any quid pro quo with regards to policy. One way the Trump campaign may have attempted to act in Russia’s interests involves Trump’s first National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who advocated a “‘Marshall plan’ of investment in the Middle East” that would have required the U.S. to lift sanctions on Russian banks and companies.
The roots of the plan come from Flynn’s involvement with the energy company ACU Strategic Partners. Beginning in 2015, Flynn received more than $5,000 from ACU Strategic Partners to advocate for the company’s plan to build nuclear reactors in Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, with assistance from Russian energy companies. Flynn claims he later also became an adviser to IP3, a company formed in 2016 by Michael Hewitt, who reportedly had been previously affiliated with ACU. ACU disputes this characterization and IP3 has denied paying Flynn and has stated that Flynn “did not accept its offer to serve as an adviser.”
During the transition, Flynn continued to advocate for the “Marshall Plan” by allegedly consulting for a group that “was working with ACU.” ACU disputes this claim. Flynn reportedly “believed that ending the sanctions could allow a business project he had once participated in to move forward,” and reporting makes it clear that this business project was allegedly the “plan to work with Russia to build nuclear power plants throughout the Middle East.” During Trump’s inauguration, Flynn reportedly texted an associate that the plan was “good to go” and that sanctions would be “ripped up.” Flynn has not commented on the report, while the associate to whom he reportedly sent the text has denied that he received the message. ACU claims it never advocated ending sanctions on Russia and insists that their plan would not have required doing so.
This text has been updated to clarify aspects of Flynn’s involvement with ACU and IP3’s advocacy for a different plan.