General (ret.) Michael Thomas Flynn began his military career in 1981 as a second lieutenant in military intelligence. After several deployments including the invasion of Grenada, support for Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, and Afghanistan, he was put in command of the 111th military intelligence brigade. Following this, from 2004 until 2007 he served as the director of intelligence of Joint Special Operations Command, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also served as the director for intelligence of US Central Command (June 2007 – July 2008), the Joint Staff (July 2008 – June 2009), and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (June 2009 – October 2010).
Flynn was assigned to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in September of 2011, and promoted to director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in April of 2012. He served in this post until his retirement in August of 2014.
As readers know, Flynn was heavily involved in the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump, and served as National Security Advisor from January 20, 2017 – February 13, 2017. A position he was forced out of after failing to provide complete information regarding his contacts with foreign entities, specifically Russian officials.
Among other dealings with Russian entities, Flynn was paid $11,250 by Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab to speak at Kaspersky Lab Government Cyber-Security Forum in October of 2015. While it is common for retired military officers to move into the private sector, none who have served at Flynn’s level have spoke for Kaspersky.
The founder and current CEO of Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky was educated at the Institute of Cryptography, Telecommunications, and Computer Science, a school sponsored by the Russian Military and the KGB. He graduated with a degree in mathematical engineering and computer technology. Kaspersky then went on to serve in Russian military intelligence for several years before founding Kaspersky lab.
While in and of itself this does not show clear wrongdoing on the part of Flynn, this adds yet another tie between the Trump Campaign/Presidency, current/former Russian intelligence community, and Russian government and businesses.