President-elect Donald Trump tapped Michael Flynn as his national security adviser. Flynn, a former military officer, is also known for his collaboration with anti-Muslim groups.
Flynn, who has yet to accept the position, advised Trump during the campaign and spoke at this summer’s Republican National Convention. Flynn works closely with the aggressively anti-Muslim grassroots group ACT for America and, as Imagine2050 reported in June, Flynn sits on the group’s board of advisers. On November 18, ACT circulated a celebratory email to supporters congratulating Flynn on his potential new role.
“We will all sleep easier knowing that a President Donald Trump has the General as his right-hand man when it comes to national security,” reads the email.
Flynn was a keynote speaker at ACT’s 2016 national conference and legislative briefing.
Flynn comes with a record of controversy. During an event organized by a Dallas ACT chapter, he called Islam a “cancer” and “a political ideology” that masquerades as a religion.
Flynn does have intelligence experience, if marred. According to VICE, he was let go from his position at the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 due to his so-called “chaotic” management style. He has also called President Obama “weak” and “spineless” on national security.
Flynn has praised ACT’s founder and president Brigitte Gabriel, a notorious anti-Muslim demagogue, who said, “Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.” One of the many times Flynn expressed his approval of Gabriel came in a February 29 tweet where she was photographed with Trump at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. She was apparently there to give a “national security briefing.”
Flynn has served as an unofficial advisor to Trump during his campaign. During the 2016 Republican National Convention, he spurred on “lock her up” chants in reference to Trump’s challenger, Hillary Clinton.
The retired Lt. Gen. is also the author of The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.
Over the summer, Flynn embarked on a book tour where he spoke at events across the country organized by ACT chapters. The Center for New Community mapped these appearances which included Ohio, Virginia, and Texas.
He also spoke at a symposium in September co-sponsored by Frank Gaffney’s anti-Muslim think tank the Center for Security Policy. Gaffney, a known anti-Muslim conspiracist, has praised Flynn for his understanding of “the ideology the jihadists call shariah.”
Both ACT and the Center for Security Policy have been designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The fact that representatives from both groups are likely to have a role in Trump administration is both shameful and speaks volumes about what we must resist going forward.