Report: Flynn associate disputes whistleblower text message claims

A former business associate of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is disputing claims of an anonymous whistleblower who alleges Flynn had sent text messages on Inauguration Day regarding a nuclear energy deal, according to a new Politico report.

Politico, citing a letter released on Monday, reports that the associate, Thomas Cochran, says phone records contradict what whistleblower Alex Copson had previously told Rep. Elijah Cummings in a detailed account of the text messages exchanged. 

Cummings had called on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to look into the whistleblower's claims that during President Trump's inauguration speech, Flynn texted Copson to say a private nuclear reactor plan involving Russia and Saudi Arabia that Flynn had lobbied for would have his support in the White House. 

Cochran writes that the whistleblower's details were inaccurate and attached phone records that he claims showed Copson never received a text message from Flynn on the day in question.

Politico writes that Cochran says Copson only received a text message on that day from a friend who attended the same function. 

"Since Mr. Copson did not receive a text message from General Flynn during the Inauguration, other allegations of the 'whistleblower' are equally false and unfounded," wrote Cochran. 

Cummings said last week that the whistleblower's allegations raise concerns that Flynn improperly aided the nuclear project after joining the White House as one of Mr. Trump's top national security officials. The project has yet to get off the ground.

Politico reports that Cummings has since said the new phone record revelation did not refute the whistleblower's entire account. Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, however, has already shown he is not eager to pursue the investigation. 

"While Democrats may want every Committee of Congress to investigate the same fact patterns, it isn't a prudent use of resources – something they used to be mindful of," Gowdy wrote in a tweet, along with his letter response to Cummings.