File - In this Nov. 17, 2016 file photo, Retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn talks to media as he arrives with is son Michael G. Flynn, left, at Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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On issues of national security and intelligence, no one is likely to have more influence in Donald Trump's White House than retired Gen. Michael T. Flynn.Yet Flynn, Trump's incoming national security adviser, has gained prominence in Republican politics by fueling conspiracy theories and Islamophobic rhetoric that critics warn could create serious distractions – or alienate allies and embolden enemies – if it continues.Flynn served until 2014 as the head of U.S. military intelligence.Flynn also promoted conspiracy theorists, some of them white supremacists, throughout the campaign even as he emerged as Trump's highest-profile national security adviser.Pence praised Flynn more broadly Tuesday, even as he distanced the incoming administration from Flynn's son.Aside from attending Trump's daily intelligence briefings and senior staff meetings, Flynn will also oversee the National Security Council, a White House department that has grown to about 400 people involved in making international policy recommendations.Flynn, who turns 58 in December, served for more than three decades in the Army.
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