The New York Times yesterday pointed out Michael Flynn’s fondness for conspiracy theories and fake news.
For Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who is President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for national security adviser, pushing conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton is a family affair: Both he and his son, Michael G. Flynn, have used social media to spread fake news stories linking Mrs. Clinton to underage sex rings and other serious crimes, backed by no evidence.
The Twitter habits of both men are attracting renewed attention after a man fired a rifle on Sunday inside Comet Ping Pong, a Washington pizza restaurant that was the subject of false stories during the campaign tying it and the Clinton campaign to a child sex trafficking ring.
Lies and people who believe lies helped get Trump, a chronic liar, elected. Something is wrong here.
Well before he joined the Trump campaign, the elder Mr. Flynn, 57, a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, pushed unsubstantiated claims about Islamic law’s spreading in the United States and about the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. But in his emergence this year as the angry former general out to help Mr. Trump clean up Washington, Mr. Flynn added wild stories about Hillary Clinton to his stock of unproven tales.
Six days before the election, for instance, Mr. Flynn posted on Twitter a fake news story that claimed the police and prosecutors in New York had found evidence linking Mrs. Clinton and much of her senior campaign staff to pedophilia, money laundering, perjury and other felonies.
That is really disgusting as well as frightening. That is the future national security adviser. How do we know he and Trump won’t start a war based on fake news?! We don’t.
Does that look like a good fit for the job?
And then there’s his son. I was hoping he’s beside the point, but he’s not, because he works for his daddy.
Michael G. Flynn, 33, is more than just a relative of an incoming senior administration official. In recent years, he has served as the chief of staff to his father, who started a private intelligence and consulting business, the Flynn Intel Group, after being forced to retire from the military in 2014.
Throughout the campaign, Michael G. Flynn served as a gatekeeper for his father, and he now appears to have a job with the Trump transition team. Email sent to an address at the Flynn Intel Group returned with an automated response that provided a new email contact for both Flynns, and each had a Trump transition email address that ended with .gov.
I’ve seen headlines today that say he’s no longer part of the transition team. His public blurts are even worse than the general’s.
But the general is the one whose job it is to filter out lies.
His role as national security adviser calls for mediating the conflicting views of cabinet secretaries and agencies, and sifting fact from speculation and rumor to help the new president decide how the United States should react to international crises.
It is a role that is likely to take on outsize importance for Mr. Trump, who has no experience in defense or foreign policy issues and has a habit of making broad assertions that are not based in fact.
Pause to think about that. It’s especially important for the next president to have a national security adviser who knows how to sift fact from speculation and rumor, because the next president is a stupid and ignorant real estate tycoon who tells reckless lies all the time. It’s especially important for the next president to have a national security adviser who knows how to sift fact from speculation and rumor, because the next president is a stupid and ignorant real estate tycoon who tells reckless lies all the time.
Mr. Flynn, though, has shown similar inclinations both on Twitter and in regular life. His sometimes dubious assertions became so familiar to subordinates at the Defense Intelligence Agency that they came up with a name for the phenomenon: They called them “Flynn facts.”
It’s enough to make you vomit from sheer terror.