Donald Trump's national security adviser meets with Austrian far-right leader

Heinz-Christian Strache says he met General Michael Flynn 'and other high-ranking US politicians'

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 21 December 2016 14:52 GMT
Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn was appointed as national security adviser to the President-elect
Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn was appointed as national security adviser to the President-elect (Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s national security adviser has met with the leader of a far-right Austrian party founded by ex-Nazis after the Second World War.

Heinz-Christian Strache said in a Facebook post that the meeting with General Michael Flynn “and other high-ranking US politicians” took place at New York's Trump Tower.

Describing them as "friends", he said they had discussed Mr Trump's presidential victory.

Mr Strache, whose Freedom party was defeated in a rerun of the Austrian presidential election earlier this month, also announced he had signed a cooperation agreement Vladimir Putin's United Russia party.

They agreed to “contribute to the expansion of the partnership between the two parties and countries, including in matters of international security, migration crisis, economic and human development, supporting traditional values ​​and protecting the environment”, the party said in a statement on its website.

Mr Strache said: “The Freedom party is continuing to win political influence. A collaboration between the US and Russia is particularly important for a diplomatic settlement of the conflict in Syria and in the Crimea”.

He also called the economic sanctions imposed on Russia after the July 2014 downing of the MH17 flight over the Ukrainian region of Donetsk, “ultimately useless”.

“Politics has to serve the people and not be used for geopolitical power games”, he continued “The Freedom party is active as a neutral and reliable agent to bring about peace”.

In a press release on his website he also called for Austria to host “a summit between the US and Russia on Austrian soil” and said the EU and Russia should be closer in a bid to fight terrorism.

The meeting is the latest in a string of appointments with controversial foreign politicians which have been held in Trump Tower – adding fuel to speculation that Mr Trump’s administration will be run by alt-right populists.

General Flynn, 57, was Mr Trump’s main national security adviser during his campaign.

As national security adviser, he would have the last word on how the president should respond to crises such as a showdown with China over the South China Sea or a health crisis like the Ebola epidemic.

Like the presidential elect he has been accused of Islamaphobia and having a loose relationship with the facts. When he ran the US Defense Intelligence Agency, subordinates reportedly called his dubious assertions: “Flynn facts.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in