Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail to hire the best people. "I know guys that are so good," he said.
With Trump’s Cabinet now shaping up, we’re getting a better idea of who these guys are. And the results are occasionally a little worrying.
In its "Profiles in Tremendousness" series, The Daily Show put together what we know about Trump’s nominee for national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Here are some of the things The Daily Show pointed out:
- President Barack Obama essentially fired Flynn from the Defense Intelligence Agency after he picked fights with other spy agencies and then tried to do an end run around his bosses.
- Flynn on at least two occasions failed to follow the military’s strict regulations for handling classified information. "He was also one of the people going, ‘Lock her up,’" The Daily Show host Trevor Noah said, referencing chants to put Hillary Clinton in prison in part for her alleged mishandling of classified information.
- Flynn was reportedly known in the Pentagon for "Flynn facts," or, as Noah described them, "hyperbolic statements that were not grounded in reality." Noah quipped, "I wonder, what does Trump see in this man?"
- Flynn said that "Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL" and claimed that Islam is "like a cancer." "We are facing another ‘ism,’ just like we faced Nazism, and fascism, and imperialism and communism," Flynn said during an August speech that referred to the politicized form of the religion. "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."
- Flynn regularly retweeted fake news reports, conspiracy theories, and racists. In one tweet, he wrote that "the corrupt Democratic machine will do and say anything" to get Hillary Clinton elected, linking to a tweet that said, "Not anymore, Jews." "The only way that’s not racist is if you’re the bouncer at a bar mitzvah at full capacity," The Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj said. "But even then, it just feels racist."
Flynn will be the man tasked with taking information from all branches of the US national security apparatus — from the military to the State Department and the nation’s spy agencies — and presenting it to the president. He will also be Trump’s primary adviser as the president works through thorny questions like how to handle ISIS, Russia, and the increasingly aggressive, nuclear-armed regime in North Korea. He will be, without question, one of the most powerful people in the new administration.
Yet Flynn has had problems with handling classified information in the past, on top of making or at least giving a platform to Islamophobic and anti-Semitic comments.
For more on Flynn, read Vox’s full explainer.
Watch: How Donald Trump thinks about foreign policy
Correction: Due to an editing error, this story originally stated that Michael Flynn needs to be confirmed by the Senate. He does not.