Donald Trump is beginning to face opposition to Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn as national security adviser including high-ranking security officials the Intercept said on Friday.
“I’m watching a clown show,” said former CIA and FBI official Philip Mudd this week. The transition team’s choosing Flynn for national security adviser is a measure of this new administration having no inclination of restraining the tone that is provocative and that began on the campaign trail.
Flynn is known widely as being anti-Muslim and has a habit of using Twitter to spread wild and alarming right-wing conspiracy theories which is attracting more attention than his military or his public service record.
“You want the national security adviser to be a calming more than an exciting influence,” former CIA head Gen. Michael Hayden told a lunch gathering on Wednesday. “Mike tweets more than his boss.”
SOCIAL MEDIA FEED
On Thursday, former national security adviser to Pres. Bill Clinton Gen. Barry McCaffrey said that he needs to seriously reconsider his view of Flynn’s judgment after seeing his social media feed.
“But I must admit that now I am extremely uneasy about some of these tweets, which don’t sound so much as if they’re politically skullduggery, but instead border on being demented,” McCaffrey told NBC News.
Flynn and his son Michael Flynn, Jr. were partly responsible for spreading the “Pizzagate” story, which was a fake news story asserting that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her top aides were running a child sex ring out of the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizzeria.
The story started on a pro-Trump Libertarian website and then went viral. Earlier this week, a man armed with an assault rifle entered the premises and fired off three shots.
“You can’t be considered credible if you’re trafficking in bad information,” said former Clinton administration official David Rothkopf, now the CEO and editor of Foreign Policy magazine. “Calling Islam a cancer is bad information. Trafficking in fake news, that’s bad information.”
“The willingness of key establishment figures to speak out against Flynn is rare in official Washington, which tends to perpetuate itself through a culture of understatement and accommodation,” wrote the Intercept’s Mattathias Schwartz. “As Trump’s national security adviser, Flynn would be the president’s main link to the Principals Committee, the main organ for setting foreign policy and responding to crises within the White House. The appointment does not go through the Senate confirmation process.”
That these officials are willing to break ranks and sound the alarm on Flynn’s appointment speaks volumes, Schwartz said.
At Wednesday’s lunch talk, Hayden said the appointment of Flynn represents “a bleeding over of the hyper-partisanship of Washington into our community. That is really, really bad.”