A company promoting a plan for the United States and Russia to jointly build nuclear reactors in the Middle East has denied that its director received a text message from White House aide Michael Flynn saying the project was "good to go."
Thomas Cochran, a business partner of Alex Copson, managing director of ACU Strategic Partners, said in a letter to lawmakers made public on December 11 said that allegations by an informant that Copson received the text from U.S. President Donald Trump's first national security adviser on Inauguration Day, January 20, were "patently false and unfounded."
Representative Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives' Oversight and Government Reform Committee, last week quoted an informant who allegedly saw the text message as saying that Flynn was prepared to "rip up" U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia to make the project happen.
The whistle-blower has not been identified and Copson has not commented on the charges.
In his letter to Cummings, Cochran attached records for Copson's cell phone which, he said, showed that Copson exchanged three text messages on Inauguration Day, but none of them with Flynn.
Media have reported that Flynn promoted a version of the nuclear project during his brief stint at the White House.
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking at whether Flynn or other Trump aides tried to influence U.S. policy to improve relations with Russia as part of his investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Flynn has pleaded guilty to unrelated charges and is now cooperating with the Mueller investigation.
Proponents of the reactors project argued it would provide nuclear energy in the Middle East without the threat of weapons proliferation, improve U.S.-Russia relations, and revive the U.S. nuclear industry.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters