Retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn served in the US Army for 30 years, before being forced out as head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014. A controversial surrogate, in November 2016 he was named as White House national security adviser under Donald Trump's administration. According to Politico, this 'signals the president-elect’s intention to wage an aggressive war on terrorism — possibly without the diplomatic and cultural sensitivities that have been the hallmark of President Barack Obama’s approach, which Flynn has repeatedly criticized'.
According to the New York Times, Flynn founded a consultancy firm after being sacked in 2014 called Flynn Intel Group, that 'has hazy business ties to Middle Eastern countries and has appeared to lobby for the Turkish government.' 
Links with Russia
General Flynn took a paid speaking engagement in 2015 with Russia Today, a television network funded by the Kremlin, and attended its anniversary party in Moscow, where he sat at Vladimir Putin's table.
False claims and conspiracy theories
According to the New York Times, 'His dubious assertions are so common that when he ran the Defense Intelligence Agency, subordinates came up with a name for the phenomenon: They called them “Flynn facts".' 
Democrats voting to impose shariah law
In an August 2016 speech to the Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts, Flynn falsely claimed that Florida Democrats voted to impose Islamic shariah law at the state and local level:
- 'The state of Florida they have 36 senators at the state level. 36 senators at the state level. 12, of them are Democrats, the Republicans hold the majority in the Florida state senate. All 12 Democrats, all 12 Democrats voted to impose shariah at the local and state level. Now, it was beaten because the Republicans are in charge. I'm telling you, this is 'American laws for America's courts.'
This claim has been peddled by far-right blogs since 2014, and was debunked by the fact-checking organizsation PolitiFact. In fact, the bill in question was about prohibiting judges from using foreign law in family law cases if the law conflicted with existing U.S. policy. Democrats voted against the bill, saying it was unnecessary and targeted Muslims in the state. 
Claims that Obama is a Muslim
In the same August speech, Flynn enquired about Barack Obama's faith:
- 'Is Obama doing this intentionally or is he incompetent and is he a Muslim? [..] This is an individual who has an ideology, and he has apologized for all the ill will of the United States of America over our history, for who we have been. He has. The apology tour. His speech in Cairo was unbelievable. I'm sitting there and I'm listening to it because I was deployed at that time and we were watching what our president's saying because it's going to cause some impact, and boy did it cause some impact. It caused the Muslim world to blow up.' 
On Islam and Muslims
Flynn's views on Islam are hardline:
- He has argued that 'Islam is a political ideology,' and Islamism a 'vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people' that needs to be 'excised' :
- 'We are facing another "ism," just like we faced Nazism, and fascism, and imperialism and communism. This is Islamism, it is a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people on this planet and it has to be excised.' 
- In a February 2017 tweet, he claimed that 'Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL', and shared a link to an anti-Muslim propaganda video of the same name by CleanTV.com. 
- In a recent book co-authored with conservative scholar Michael Ledeen, Flynn wrote against 'political correctness' and accused Obama of having failed to recognize 'the war being waged against us.'
- 'This administration has forbidden us to describe our enemies properly and clearly: they are Radical Islamists. They are not alone, and are allied with countries and groups who, though not religious fanatics, share their hatred of the West, particularly the United States and Israel. Those allies include North Korea, Russia, China, Cuba and Venezuela.' 
- Flynn has repeatedly engaged with Alt-right figures on social media, and has endorsed and shared articles from the Alt-right journal Breitbart News 
- Donald Trump
- MATTHEW ROSENBERG and MAGGIE HABERMAN, Michael Flynn, Anti-Islamist Ex-General, Offered Security Post, Trump Aide Says, New York Times, November 17 2016. Accessed 23 November 2016.
- Andrew Kaczynski, Michael Flynn in August: Islamism a 'vicious cancer' in body of all Muslims that 'has to be excised', CNN News, November 23, 2016. Accessed November 23, 2016
- Stoughton Media Access Corporation, "Field of Fight" with Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Youtube, 26 August 2016. Accessed 23 November 2016.
- . Alison Griswold, Donald Trump is putting together a national-security team full of hardliners, Quartz, November 19, 2016. Accessed 21 November 2016
- General Mike Flynn on Twitter, Twitter, 27 February 2016. Accessed November 23, 2016
- Bryan Bender, Trump names Mike Flynn national security adviser, Politico, 17 November 2016. Accessed 21 November 2016