Michael Flynn has turned his Trump-world celebrity into a family business

Michael Flynn has turned his Trump-world celebrity into a family business

The New York Times reports:

In 2021, retired Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Donald J. Trump’s first national security adviser, became chairman of a 75-year-old nonprofit organization — the kind of small charity where chairmen typically work for free.

But Mr. Flynn received a salary of $40,000, for working two hours per week.

The next year, he got a raise: $60,000, for two hours.

Mr. Flynn’s charity also paid one of his brothers, two of his sisters, his niece and his sister-in-law. By the end of its second year, his nonprofit group, America’s Future Inc., was running in the red, burning through reserves — and still paying $518,000, or 29 percent of its budget, to Flynns.

Since leaving the Trump administration under an ethical cloud, Michael Flynn has converted his Trump-world celebrity into a lucrative and sprawling family business. He and his relatives have marketed the retired general as a martyr, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for a legal-defense fund and then pocketing leftover money. Through a network of nonprofit and for-profit ventures, they have sold far-right conspiracy theories, ranging from lies about the 2020 election to warnings, embraced by followers of QAnon, about cabals of pedophiles and child traffickers.

“This is one that goes up to the highest levels of corporations, up to the highest levels of the government,” Mr. Flynn said recently at a meeting hosted by America’s Future in Kent, Ohio. “People that you know and that you think you respect.”

A New York Times investigation found Flynn family members had made at least $2.2 million monetizing Michael Flynn’s right-wing stardom in recent years, with more than half of that going to Mr. Flynn directly. That total includes several payments not previously reported, but it is still a low estimate, since not all financial records are public. The Times’s reporting also raised questions about whether America’s Future had properly disclosed its payments to Mr. Flynn’s relatives.

Many of Mr. Trump’s closest allies have tried to turn political fame into private income, hawking everything from T-shirts to coffee beans to podcasts. Other than Mr. Trump himself, few have done it on the scale of Mr. Flynn. [Continue reading…]

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