News and Commentary

7 Things You Need To Know About Trump NSA Pick General Michael Flynn

President-elect Donald Trump has selected his new National Security Advisor: former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Flynn had been an ardent supporter of Trump throughout the campaign and has been severely critical of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

Here are seven things you need to know about Flynn.

1. Flynn has extensive military intelligence leadership background. Flynn’s background includes:

  • Military Intelligence second lieutenant
  • Lead an Afghanistan military intelligence regiment
  • Intelligence director in U.S. Central Command and the Joint Staff

Flynn also led the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) until…

2. He was forced to resign because he refused to kowtow to the Obama administration’s political correctness. As the Daily Wire has previous reported, Flynn had been fighting with President Barack Obama’s foreign policy advisors on various matters. Flynn wrote in the New York Post that his firing “had more to do with the stand I took on radical Islamism and the expansion of al Qaeda and its associated movements.”

3. Flynn understands the threat of radical Islam. The former lieutenant general told Al Jazeera, “We are at war with a radical component of Islam and the way I believe it is that Islam is a … political ideology based on a religion.”

Flynn also wrote in the book The Field of Fight he co-authored that “political correctness forbids us to denounce radical Islamists, and our political, opinion, and academic elites dismiss out of hand the very idea of waging war against them.”

The lieutenant general also highlights an example of how radical Islam can be taken down worldwide, via the New York Observer:

One of their fellow senior leaders was Sir Graeme Lamb from the UK Army. He was trying to figure out how to get the Sunni tribes in Iraq to stop supporting the Al-Qaeda in Iraq element in Anbar province. A crusty Iraqi Sunni leader who Graeme didn’t particularly get along with told the Scotsman, “You are a force of occupation…We must resist you… but we have been watching you for 3.5 years and we have discussed this around the Arab region…We have come to the conclusion that you do not threaten our way of life. Al Qaeda does.” With that the awakening moved into top gear and the downfall of AQI was assured. Flynn urges us to do this on a global scale…the discussion and alliance part not the occupying force piece. The key to this is attacking and undermining the radical Islamist ideology that anchors the global movement of mass murderers and terrorists.

Though Flynn is a hardliner on the threat of radical Islam, he has been skeptical of the use of waterboarding.

4. Flynn has been warm towards Russia, but his book outlines the threat Russia poses. Flynn has called the notion that the U.S. and Russia can’t work together a “misnomer” and even took photographs with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which certainly would lead one to think that Flynn is pro-Putin.

However, Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey notes:

The New York Times and other outlets have reported that Flynn’s urging Trump to work with Putin to defeat radical Islam, but his book — published this summer — says something much different. “They are certainly not ‘fighting terrorists’ in the Middle East,” Flynn declared about the Russians in The Field of Fight — “theirs is a battle to rescue an embattled ally in Damascus … [T]here is no reason to believe Putin would welcome cooperation with us; quite the contrary, in fact.” Flynn notes that Putin is tilting his military efforts against the West, not ISIS and al-Qaeda, and maintains a strategic relationship with Iran for the same purpose.

That seems to contradict a lot of Flynn’s public statements about Russia. Flynn’s true view of Russia may not be known until the Trump administration takes office.

5. Flynn has ties to the Turkish government. According to The Daily Caller, Flynn’s consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, is being paid “to lobby Congress by a Dutch company called Inovo BV,” which was founded by Ekim Alptekin, an ally of Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Daily Caller also notes that Flynn wrote an op-ed in The Hill on Election Day titled “Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support.” Flynn argued in the op-ed that “Turkey is really our strongest ally against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)” and that the next president needs to extradite Fethullah Gülen, who Flynn called a radical Islamist.

But, as The Daily Caller points out, Flynn was singing a different tune about Turkey earlier in 2016, telling journalist Seymour Hersh that “Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.”

Could the recent lobbying contract have changed Flynn’s mind on Turkey? It’s definitely something to keep an eye on going foward.

6. Flynn required female employees at the DIA to wear makeup. A 2013 DIA PowerPoint presentation said, “Makeup helps women look more attractive. Coordinated makeup communicates that you are moving assertively towards identifiable goals.”

Naturally, leftists went into a tizzy over this and leveled their usual accusations of sexism. But as The Federalist‘s Bre Payton pointed out, the PowerPoint presentation that laid out such guidelines also required men to wear certain types of shirt colors with dark suits, suggesting that both men and women were required to uphold a professional attire.

Payton writes:

In many professional settings, there’s a certain level of personal care and hygiene that’s to be expected. Apparently at the DIA, that level meant women should wear enough so they don’t look like slobs, but not too much that they might be mistaken for a lady of the night. This is a very basic expectation that only needs to be stated when people begin to break it, at which point it’s appropriate for supervisors to re-state agency expectations.

Flynn’s office made clear to employees that showing up for work at the DIA without makeup is the facial equivalent of showing up in sweats. It’s not at all unreasonable to state this and to hold women to a certain standard of professional attire, especially in a military agency, which have extremely detailed requirements for personal appearance. If Flynn really did write that presentation, it’s clear from the other rules it includes that he viewed makeup as just part of a uniform

7. Flynn was once rumored to be Trump’s vice-president pick. That would have done little to allay conservative fears about Trump, as Flynn is a registered Democrat who calls himself “as centrist as possible” with muddled views on abortion. But now that Flynn has been named as Trump’s National Security Advisor, and Mike, a bona fide conservative, is the vice-president-elect, it all worked out.