Retired general called for more aggression towards Isis, as ex-CIA chief David Petraeus reportedly in race for secretary of state

President-elect Donald Trump has offered the job of national security adviser to Michael Flynn, a former military intelligence chief who has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration, according to a senior Trump official.

Flynn, 57, who served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has advised Trump on national security issues for months. As national security consultant, he would work in the White House shaping foreign and military policy and have frequented access to a chairperson with no national security experience.

The Trump official, who was not authorized to discuss the offer publicly, would not say whether Flynn had accepted the job.

According to photographs released by the Japanese government, he was however present at a meeting on Thursday in New York between Trump and the Japanese “ministers “, Shinzo Abe, at which the US president-elects daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner were also present.

Flynn broke from other national security experts during the US election campaign who denounced Trump, to intervene in the then-candidate at rallies and resulting chants against Hillary Clinton, including those that called for her to be locked up.

In a fiery address at the Republican National Convention, Flynn underscored his view that security threats posed by the Islamic State group required a more aggressive US military, as well as his belief that Washington should work more closely with Moscow.

A retired three-star army general, Flynn operated the Defense Intelligence Agency( DIA ), one of the highest positions a military intelligence officer can attain, between 2012 and 2014. But conflicts with top Obama administration officials led to his departure. James Clapper, the CIA director who announced his resignation on Thursday, played a leading role in Flynns departure.

A controversial figure, Flynn has been criticized for regularly appearing on RT, the Russian state-owned television station, and once attended an RT gala, sitting two seats from Russian president, Vladimir Putin. He later said his speakers bureau had arranged the trip and that he saw no distinction between RT and TV news organizations like CNN.

The post does not involve Senate confirmation.

Flynn, who wrote in his 2016 book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Friends, that he was not a devotee of so-called political correctness.

In February, the general positioned on Twitter, Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL. Then, in July, he retweeted an antisemitic post taunting the Clinton campaigns blaming of Russian hackers for leaked emails: CNN implicated. The USSR is to blame! Not anymore, Jews. Not anymore. Flynn subsequently deleted his retweet and apologized, saying it was a mistake; the tweet about Muslims has not been deleted.

General Flynn (@ GenFlynn)

Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL: please forward this to others: the truth anxieties no questions … https :// t.co/ NLIfKFD9lU

February 27, 2016

The reported pick describe immediate statements of concern, including from Human Rights Watch, which said that it proved a deeply disturbing disregard for human rights principles and the laws of war. The rights group noted that Flynn has repeatedly refused to rule out Trumps proposed employ of torture and other war crimes.

Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said in a statement on Thursday night that he was deeply concerned about[ Flynns] positions on Russia because of their fondness for the autocratic and belligerent Kremlin. He also pointed to the generals inflammatory remarks regarding Islam, and his uncritical adoption of the Turkish crackdown on dissent.

Schiff also said he supposed the best choice for national security adviser would be someone steady and thoughtful who could help offset the potentially impulsive nature of the next President.

Also on Thursday, diplomatic sources said that David Petraeus the former US army general and CIA director who was prosecuted for mishandling classified information had entered the race to become Donald Trumps secretary of state.

Petraeus resigned in November 2012 after the FBI detected he had had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, and had shared classified information with her. He eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for mishandling the information. People who have insured him lately say he is anxious to return to public life and has privately refused to rule out serving in a Trump administration.

Petraeus, who was also a US commander in Afghanistan and Iraq, has built flattering statements about Trump since the election. Hes right to criticise Washington over its partisanship and its inability to forge compromises, he told the German cable news channel Deutsche Welle the coming week. Hes a dealmaker. Lets see if he can attain some bargains in Washington.

He added: This is an individual who is a political foreigner. Perhaps he can do something in Washington that the political insiders, who he rightly criticises, have been unable to do, which is to come together to give a little, to gain a lot for our country.

The favourite for the secretary of defense, according to diplomats who have been in touch with the Trump team in recent days, is Jeff Sessions, a rightwing, anti-immigration senator from Alabama who has been accused of attaining racist statements.

David
David Petraeus has attained flattering statements about Trumps outsider status since the election. Photo: Chris Keane/ Reuters

But the fight for top foreign policy undertakings is still intense, and foreign governments are being advised a comprehensive proclamation may not be made until after the Thanksgiving holiday on 24 November.

On Thursday, Trumps team announced he had gratified Sessions at Trump Tower in New York the day before. The president-elect has been unbelievably impressed with Senator Sessions and his phenomenal record as Alabamas attorney general and US attorney, a spokesperson told. It is no wonder the people of Alabama re-elected him without opposition.

Earlier this week, the main contenders for secretary of state appeared to be former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and former diplomat to the UN John Bolton, but Giuliani ran into significant opponent over his extensive lobbying ties with foreign governments, and Boltons fiercely held convictions on the strategic need to confront Russian expansionism are at odds with the views of Trumps inner circle.

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley is seen as another option, and she visited Trump Tower on Thursday. Haley, who was born in the US to Sikh mothers who emigrated from India, would join a cabinet that appears set to be dominated by white men. Trumps campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, told reporters: Were just happy to have her here for her advice and her counsel and hearing about the great success tale the hell is South Carolina under her leadership.

Stephen Bannon and the alt-right in the White House

A small circle including family members and Flynn is said to be exhorting Trump not make appointments of well-known Washington figures that would send a business as usual messages to the people who voted for him.

The president-elect also received advice on Thursday from Henry Kissinger, 93, who was secretary of state under Richard Nixon. A statement from the transition team office said they had a great session at Trump Tower and discussed China, Russia, Iran, the EU and other events and issues around the world.

It quoted Trump as telling: I have tremendous respect for Dr Kissinger and appreciate him sharing his thoughts with me.

Kissingers legacy as Americas top diplomat remains hugely divisive: Hillary Clinton, who also held the position, has welcomed his kudo but her former Democratic contender Bernie Sanders branded him one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country.

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