By Paige McGlauflin 12/7/16
Donald Trump’s appointee for National Security Advisor is eliciting criticisms from top officials in the Democratic party. Trump picked Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, for the position. Unlike Cabinet positions, the appointment of NSA doesn’t require Congressional approval. Flynn has recently spread fake news, re-tweeted anti-Semitic threats, and has been accused of having suspicious ties to foreign governments while head of the DIA, and spreading conspiracy theories and promoting Islamophobia.
Flynn was involved in pushing a conspiracy theory with his son and top advisors called “PizzaGate,” which alleged that Democrats ran a child sex ring out of a Washington pizza restaurant. Democrats, the owners and patrons of the pizza restaurant, a respected local business, have all vehemently denied the accusation. Both Trump and Flynn’s staff have denied his part in promoting the theory.
Flynn also tweeted and re-tweeted anti-Semitic accusations against the Democratic party after they linked Russian intelligence to the Democratic National Committee hacking this summer. ” ‘The USSR is to blame!’ ” one tweet read. “Not anymore, Jews. Not anymore.” Flynn himself is a Democrat.
“It is incumbent on Trump, his nominee for National Security Advisor, General Flynn, and his entire team to disavow these falsehoods and conspiracy theories,” Adam Schiff, a top Democrat in the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a statement. “They will soon have a country to run, and God help us if they conduct the nation’s affairs like their transition– without the willingness or ability to separate fact from fiction.”
53 non-profit groups appealed to the president-elect to reconsider his appointment earlier this week. The groups, composed of religious and social justice organizations, claimed that Flynn’s appointment would be damaging to the US standing in the world and its national security.
Julianne Smith, former deputy national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, finds Flynn’s tendency to promote fake news deeply troubling. “His job is to ensure that the White House is focused at all times on all of the threats that the United States faces abroad,” Smith said. “You don’t want to have a distracted national security adviser.”