Michael Flynn, a notorious conspiracy theorist and President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser, wasted no time in resigning from his post a couple of weeks ago, and has now been caught with previous ties to the Government of Turkey, having worked for them before being appointed into Trump’s “America first” cabinet. And now that these overseas connections and dubious double-crossings have come to light, the White House has issued a statement saying that Trump had no knowledge whatsoever of Flynn’s dirty dealings.

Flynn revealed his foreign dealings two days prior to statement

Two days before the White House denied Trump knew about Flynn’s overseas intelligence work, Flynn made the revelation himself. Probably fearing that it would be found by someone else, he wore his Turkish business on his shoulder like a badge of honour in some paperwork his intelligence firm Flynn Intel Group Incorporated filed to the Department of Justice that made the revelation. Trump has taken two days to deny knowledge of this.

To be fair, Flynn’s work as a “foreign agent” isn’t as bad as it sounds. It sounds very Cold War-y, but all he did was provide a Turkish businessman with information that could’ve possibly been fed to the Turkish government to help them along with a couple of things.

He’s not sharing secrets or committing treason or anything like that, but it does go against Trump’s stance that America should be the only country that gets any handouts from Americans. Vice President Mike Pence says that Flynn’s international dealings are being seen by the White House as “an affirmation” that Trump made the right decision when he politely asked Flynn to jump ship.

Pence himself said that he too was unaware of Flynn’s business associations in Turkey.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked by journalists at the White House (so, for now, they’re still allowed in) if Trump knew that Flynn was a foreign agent when he appointed him the National Security Adviser, perhaps the position that ISIS-bashing, Muslim-banning, xenophobic Trump would view as the most important seat in his Cabinet.

Spicer, not really one for providing the press with straight answers in case he needs to backtrack on them, said, “I don’t believe that that was known.”

Flynn says Justice Department pressured him to do it

According to Flynn, officials from the Justice Department pressured him to file the paperwork, which described the $530,000 he spent lobbying for Inovo BV prior to Election Day. Inovo BV is a company owned by Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, but it is based in the Netherlands. This is Flynn’s first admission of work for a foreign government whilst working under Trump.

Flynn’s lobbying may have assisted the Turkish government, which is an authoritarian (what a scary word) government run by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, since Flynn’s problems with lying to Trump and Pence about his connections to Russia (and specifically their US ambassador Sergey Kislyak), which got him fired from Trump’s White House and publicly disgraced, is the kind of juicy gossip that governments can use for a lovely bit of blackmail.