Trump's Likely Pick For National Security Advisor Only A Little Unhinged And Corrupt
Flynn's the Thanksgiving General: He lobbied for Turkey
More Exciting Trump Transition news, kids! A number of news outlets -- citing "people familiar with the president-elect’s transition planning," so take that with however many pounds of salt and/or tequila you'd like -- are saying Donald Trump is close to naming retired Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security advisor, a post that doesn't require Senate confirmation. That's terrific news for Flynn, who was asked to step down as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, thanks in part to not playing well with others in the intelligence community, and to a "chaotic" management style. After leaving the service, he immediately became a rightwing hero for his constant verbal attacks on the Obama administration, especially on Fox News.
Flynn's other notable achievement since returning to civilian life has been working as a lobbyist for the Turkish government, which should be just peachy since Turkey is one of our NATO allies, right? Except Flynn isn't just touting Turkey as an ally in the fight against ISIS -- he also wrote an op-ed piece defending the elected autocratic leader of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and calling for the immediate deportation of an Islamist cleric who Erdoğan would very much like to execute the moment he arrives on Turkish soil. Flynn's impeccable logic: The cleric, Fethullah Gülen, may claim that he's a moderate, but "If he were in reality a moderate, he would not be in exile, nor would he excite the animus of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government." Clearly, if a near-dictator is against him, he must be guilty of something, so let's skip our normal extradition procedures and send him off to be killed. (Yr Wonkette doesn't know enough about Gülen to have an opinion, but we are big fans of due process, and not big fans of autocrats who jail or execute their opponents. We're just big idiots that way.)
Small detail: Flynn failed to mention his lobbying connections to the Turkish government in that Hill piece. You know, as if ethics mattered. We only care about politicians taking money from foreign governments when their name is Hillary Clinton. All the others are cool.
And then there's Flynn's lovey-dovey feelings about Mother Russia, which we've mentioned more than once, but which shouldn't be anything to worry about in a National Security Advisor. Russian troops massing on the Ukranian border? Eh, not really our business, at least until we check Ukraine's balance sheet to make sure they've paid their protection money.
Let us also not forget the amusing antics and funtimes Flynn brought to Trump's first national security briefing as a candidate, during which Flynn reportedly kept interrupting the briefers with questions and challenging the information they were presenting, because he knew more than the briefers. Chris Christie is said to have had to nudge Flynn to get him to shut up, although we must also note Flynn called that account "total bullshit" and Christie said it was "a complete work of fiction." Hey, now that Chris Christie has been purged from the transition team, somebody should ask him again about that!
Nothing's certain yet, of course; the Washington Post notes that while Flynn's name is still being floated,
some with transition connections said his stock appeared to be falling as others questioned his potential effectiveness in the job. Retired Gen. David H. Petraeus, whose name was also mentioned, is close to Keith Kellogg and Michael Meese, transition team members and former military colleagues.
Well, then! It's not like David Petraeus had any problems with letting his consensual pussy-grabee read his classified emails or anything. Besides, his last name is not Clinton, now is it?
Still, Flynn is very, very loyal to Donald Trump, which is clearly his most important qualification, so it would be premature to count him out. He might have a few character flaws and conflicts of interest, but he'd still be a better choice than Uday or Qusay Trump. We may just have to wait to find out whether Vladimir Putin thinks he's an appropriate choice.
[National Review / WaPo / Foreign Policy / Newsweek / The Hill / Politico / NBC News / WaPo]
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