Turkish businessman who hired Flynn says neither of them worked for Turkish government

Ekim Alptekin paid the Flynn Intel Group more than $500,000 during the campaign.

“I cannot comment on that,” Ekim Alptekin told ABC News in an interview on Monday.

Alptekin, who was in Washington, D.C. attending a Turkish-American business conference at the Trump International Hotel, founded a Dutch-based company called Inovo that paid the Flynn Intel Group more than $500,000 during the presidential campaign, according to papers Flynn filed with the Department of Justice.

Flynn had previously registered as a lobbyist for the firm, but Flynn’s attorneys advised that he file additional documents with the Justice Department identifying himself as an agent for a foreign government. The attorneys believed the work could be construed as principally benefitting the Turkish government, a finding that would trigger the need for registration.

Alptekin disputed that assessment.

“I’ve never represented the government of Turkey,” he said. “All of the reports that implicated or imply that I was in any way representing the government are simply not true.”

“The forces of radical Islam derive their ideology from radical clerics like Gülen, who is running a scam,” Flynn wrote. “We should not provide him safe haven. In this crisis, it is imperative that we remember who our real friends are.”

He was forced to resign, however, shortly after the inauguration, after the administration learned he misled Vice President Mike Pence about private discussions he had with the Russian ambassador. At the same time, Flynn’s private work for and speech fees from foreign sources also began attracting scrutiny.

Alptekin said in an interview that it was unnerving to see his name and that of his company surface in connection with the unfolding scandal.

“I think unfortunately there's a highly politicized situation in the United States in which a lot of facts are being distorted — there's a lot of misunderstanding and misperceptions,” Alptekin said. “I don't think this is a very healthy environment unfortunately. I hope the United States will overcome this period as soon as possible so we can all move forward.”

Flynn, meanwhile, has refused to honor a Senate committee's subpoena request for documents relating to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"He will not be producing the documents they sought,” a source close to Flynn told ABC News. “He is entitled to decline, pursuant to the Fifth Amendment.”

ABC News’ Katherine Faulders, Alexander Mallin and Justin Fishel contributed to this report.

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