Retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, is convinced the nation is facing a potential existential threat: a rising tide of Muslim extremists. Since being forced to retire in August 2014, Flynn has been an outspoken critic of the administration, alleging the Obama White House has failed to confront what he calls “radical Islam.”
Flynn is now taking his message to the biggest stage possible: the 2016 presidential election. Last week, the New York Post reported that Flynn, a registered Democrat, was being considered as a running mate for Donald Trump on the Republican ticket. In the days since, Flynn has been making the media rounds praising the GOP frontrunner.
The odds are long for the retired three-star general. Flynn is up against a stable of veteran political operatives, including Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. According to the most recent media reports, Trump is leaning toward a candidate with a background in politics, rather than the military. Trump is expected to hold a public event on Friday with his selected running mate.
Flynn has vowed to support Trump regardless of whether or not he gets the VP nod.
On Friday night, Flynn spoke to The Intercept on a range of topics, including his new book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, his prescriptions for U.S. national security, and his admiration for Trump’s platform. In doing so, he offered a window into his worldview and a glimpse at a vision of national security that resonates in the Trump camp.
For Flynn, the decision to step into public life preceded the rise of Trump and boiled down to two core issues: perceived lies peddled by the Obama administration and his self-imposed duty to confront them. “I watched our own government lie to us about a number of things,” Flynn told The Intercept.
“I just see us going in the wrong direction, and that’s really why I sort of jumped into the middle of the fray,” he explained. “I don’t mind doing that. That’s kind of me.”