Donald Trump's 'new national security adviser' thinks fear of Muslims is 'rational'

'I’ve been at war with Islam, or a component of Islam, for the last decade,' says the former head of US military intelligence

Matt Payton
Friday 18 November 2016 11:09 GMT
Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn served as an adviser to the Trump presidential campaign
Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn served as an adviser to the Trump presidential campaign

President-elect Donald Trump is said to have offered retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn the post of National Security Adviser - who has claimed it is rational to fear Muslims.

Despite having held senior military positions including that of Chief Intelligence Officer at the Pentagon under President Obama, many former colleagues have since criticised his opinions.

A registered Democrat, Mr Flynn, 57, was asked in February 2016 to act as an adviser to the Trump campaign and had been considered as a potential running mate.

The retired soldier caused widespread controversy after sharing a video on Twitter along with a comment stating: "Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL: please forward this to others: the truth fears no questions..."

The video claims the term Islamophobia is an oxymoron as phobia means an irrational fear and that fearing Muslims is a logical reaction.

It then proceeds to list all perpetrators of terror attacks that are Muslim and how Islamic communities cannot live alongside any other religious group.

In an op-ed piece in the New York Post, Mr Flynn stated: "I’ve been at war with Islam, or a component of Islam, for the last decade."

Mr Flynn was sacked by President Obama in 2014 from his role as the director of US Defence Intelligence Agency following continued complaints over his leadership style.

Mr Flynn claimed he was fired due to his uncompromising approach to the threat of radical Islam. He resigned from the military shortly after and set up a private intelligence consultancy firm.

During the election, he criticised Hillary Clinton at Trump rallies over the emails controversy, led chants of "lock her up" and repeatedly called for her to stand down as a candidate.

His relationship with Russia has been heavily questioned after he was paid to attend a Moscow gala hosted by the state-run Russian news channel RT. He was pictured seated next to President Vladimir Putin.

It is not clear whether he has accepted the offer, but as national security adviser, he would be one of the 45th President's most influential advisers regarding issues such as including the battle against the so-called Islamic State group, the Syrian Civil War, China's rising challenge in the South China Sea and opposition from Russia.

Given Mr Trump's near-total lack of experience in national security matters, many fear Mr Flynn's own extreme views towards the global Islamic community and his opinions of Russia could hold sway in the Oval Office.

Trump supporter cites Japanese internment camps as 'precedent' for Muslim registry

The National Security Adviser acts as the main liaison between the White House and the Pentagon, State department and intelligence agencies while also presiding over a staff of around 400 people.

It does not require Senate approval, disallowing any attempt by Congress to block his appointment.

The billionaire businessman's transition team has already come under heavy criticism following the appointment of other controversial people - including Steve Bannon to the position of chief White House strategist and senior counsellor.

Mr Bannon has previously referred to liberal women as a "bunch of dykes" and has been accused of publishing racist and anti-Semitic stories when he ran the news website, Breitbart.

Headlines produced during Bannon's time included "World Health Organisation report: Trannies 49xs higher HIV rate", "There’s no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews", "Young Muslims in the west are a ticking time bomb". and "Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy".

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