Flynn, Michael Thomas

Flynn, Michael Thomas, 1958–, U.S. military officer and government official, b. Middletown, R.I., B.S. Univ. of Rhode Island, 1981. Commissioned as an army second lieutenant upon graduation (he joined the ROTC in college), he rose through the military intelligence ranks to lieutentant general in 2011. He served in Grenada, Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and was director of intelligence for the Joint Special Operations Command (2004–7) in Afghanistan and Iraq, for the U.S. Central Command (2007–8), for the Joint Staff (2008–9), and for U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan (2009–10), winning regard from his commanders. He subsequently was an assistant director of national intelligence (2011–12) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and director (2012–14) of the Defense Intelligence Agency; in the latter post, conflicts with superiors forced his resignation. After retiring from the military, he worked as a security and intelligence consultant (2014–16), and advised several Republican presidential candidates in 2016. Joining the Trump campaign, he gained notoriety for comments attacking Muslims and Hillary Clinton. Named national security adviser, he served (2017) briefly under President Trump before revelations about his contact before the inauguration with Russia's ambassador forced his resignation; other questionable activities, including acting as an unregistered agent for Turkey, also came to light. The FBI's investigation into Flynn contributed to FBI Director Comey's dismissal, which led to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's appointment and investigation into Flynn and other members of the Trump campaign. In 2017 Flynn pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia's ambassador but was not charged in other matters in return for his cooperation with the Mueller investigation.

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