Edgar Maddison Welch, 28 of Salisbury, N.C., surrenders to police Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Washington. (Sathi Soma via AP)

Michael Flynn's conspiracy-minded son, who tweeted about the "Pizzagate" theory, used to be on Donald Trump's transition team

The son of Trump's national security adviser is a conspiracy theorist and was on Trump's transition team.


Matthew Rozsa
December 6, 2016 5:53PM (UTC)

President-elect Donald Trump can disavow white nationalists as much as he wants, but so long as he employs individuals like Michael G. Flynn on his transition team, it will be hard to believe that their views aren't influencing his own.

Michael G. Flynn, the son of retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (who is slated to become Trump's national security adviser), has an official government transition email address, as CNN reported on Monday. As CNN's Jake Tapper tweeted on Tuesday, Flynn also continues to "help his father with some administrative and scheduling work and that needs to be run through transition."

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Flynn has also been using social media to promote some of the fringe right's most bigoted and patently false conspiracy theories, according to a report on Monday by Think Progress. He has claimed that President Obama hates Christians, has linked the president with Muslim terrorists and non-white criminals, has alleged that Sen. Marco Rubio has a cocaine habit. Most notably, Flynn has used his Twitter account to illogically argue that the Pizzagate conspiracy theory — a meritless story claiming that Hillary Clinton's team is engaged in a child sex abuse ring that operates out of a Washington DC pizzeria — needs to be "proven to be false" in order for the media to stop discussing it.

Someone tried to prove that theory false. He walked into the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria with a gun while looking for evidence that "that the Comet restaurant was harboring child sex slaves," according to criminal charges, which were obtained by CNN.

Flynn has also created a social media account at Gab, a platform that has become a hub of alt-right and white supremacist activity ever since Twitter started cracking down on hate speech on its platform.

Richard Spencer, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Ricky Vaughn have started using Gab after being banned from Twitter, and considering that Foreign Policy has previously reported that Flynn Jr. accompanies his father to "a ton of meetings," one has to wonder whether the white nationalism prevalent on sites like Gab and Flynn Jr.'s past Twitter posts will unduly influence his father's foreign policy positions.

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Update: Hours after Vice President-elect Pence appeared on "Morning Joe" to deny that Michael G. Flynn had any involvement in the Trump transition efforts, Trump spokesman Jason Miller clarified in a phone call with reporters that Flynn "was helping his father with some administration and scheduling duties early on in the transition process and he is no longer involved with transition efforts," Talking Points Memo reported on Tuesday. The exact timing of Flynn's departure from the team remains unclear.


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Michael G. Flynn Michael T. Flynn Pizzagate

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