Flynn was an early Trump supporter and has had a significant influence on the president-elect’s foreign policy views. He will have Trump’s ear in a time of crisis, and hasn’t made any attempt to hide his disdain for Islam.
In August, Flynn said that Islam, which has around 1.6 billion followers around the world, was a “political ideology” that “hides behind being a religion.” He also described it as a “cancer” because terrorist groups instructed followers to “get into the bloodstream of the opposition.” He has tweeted that fearing Muslims is “rational.”
Criticized for his management style, Flynn was fired as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 after clashing with senior intelligence officials. He claims he lost his job for disagreeing with the Obama administration’s approach to fighting terrorism and has condemned the president for not using the phrase “radical Islamic terror.”
In a July op-ed for the New York Post, Flynn called the the Muslim world an “epic failure” compared to “the superiority of the West.”
“We have failed to challenge their jihadist doctrines, even though their true believers only number a small fraction of the Muslim world, and even though everybody, above all most living Muslims, knows that the Islamic world is an epic failure, desperately needing economic, cultural and educational reform of the sort that has led to the superiority of the West,” he wrote.
Flynn’s Islamophobia lines up with Trump’s pledge to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. Trump’s transition team is reportedly considering implementing a registry for Muslim immigrants in the United States. Since Trump’s election, there has also been an uptick in the number of hate crimes toward Muslims, immigrants and minorities.
Flynn hasn’t always demonstrated good judgment when it comes to analyzing the truth. When he worked at the Pentagon, employees called his assertions that had no basis in truth “Flynn facts,” according to The New York Times. Days before the election, Flynn tweeted a fake news story about Hillary Clinton’s emails. Flynn also retweeted an anti-semitic message in July, but later apologized.
Flynn’s son, also named Michael, serves as his chief of staff and works with him at the Flynn Intel group, an international consulting firmcr. According to CNN, the younger Flynn has regularly shared conspiracy theories on social media, including ones suggesting that Huma Abedin, a top aide for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, was connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was gay and used cocaine.
While advising Trump during his campaign, the elder Flynn also provided consulting services to international clients, including one with close ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has pledged to cut off his business ties if he returns to government.
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