As The New York Times first reported Monday, Trump’s national security adviser recently sat for a meeting with Heinz-Christian Strache, the leader of the far-right Freedom Party, who traveled to Trump Tower after the election to pay his respects. Strache published a Facebook post Monday confirming that the meeting took place last month shortly after the Freedom Party nearly won the recent presidential election in Austria, a huge feat for a party that barely existed years ago.
The ideological overlap between Strache, Flynn, and Trump is hardly insignificant, as The Huffington Post notes. All three are vocally anti-Islam and have each expressed skepticism toward immigration, the European Union, and multiculturalism more generally. Strache, like Trump, is also particularly sensitive to allegations of anti-Semitism, despite invoking many of its tropes: the Freedom Party leader has gone out of his way in the past to deny such claims by hosting conferences on anti-Semitism in Israel, even as he has ruffled critics by comparing his own struggles to those of Jews during the Holocaust.
The history of the Austrian Freedom Party itself is hard to disentangle from its anti-Semitic past. The party’s first leader was Anton Reinthaller, a former Nazi official and member of the SS. “This is not just any opposition party: It is one with Nazi sympathies,” Daniel Serwer, a professor at Johns Hopkins University specializing in foreign policy, told the Huffington Post. “Nor is Flynn any national security adviser. He is a documented conspiracy propagator. His long-term strategy colleague, Steve Bannon, is an ethnic nationalist and anti-Semite. The president-elect is an anti-Muslim and anti-immigration bigot.” (Bannon has denied making anti-Semitic comments.)
Making Sense of Mike Flynn: Why did Trump’s choice for national-security advisor perform so well in the war on terror, only to find himself forced out of the Defense Intelligence Agency?
Report addresses how Flynn’s success under General McChrystal was due in part to his boss surrounding him “him with subordinates who would challenge the unsubstantiated theories he tended to indulge.” Once on his own at the Defense Intelligence Agency his conspiracy theories were unchecked.
His dubious assertions are so common that when he ran the Defense Intelligence Agency, subordinates came up with a name for the phenomenon: They called them “Flynn facts.”
He even tried to claim that Iran was behind the Benghazi attack despite no evidence to support that claim.
Dec. 5, 2016
Nov. 23, 2016
Flynn is a retired lieutenant general who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014. More recently, Flynn has served as an advisor to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and was recently hired by ACT to serve as an advisor for the organization’s board. When Flynn is not advising ACT or Trump, he has been on a nationwide speaking tour to promote his new book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies with the help of ACT, whose local chapters have organized many of Flynn’s stops. During one appearance in Dallas, Flynn likened Islam to a cancer, claiming that documents recovered from terrorist organizations instruct followers to “get into the bloodstream of the opposition,” which Flynn said means to attack Western nations.. Flynn, like Trump has also used his Twitter account to tweet anti-Semitic material. In July, Flynn retweeted an anti-Hillary Clinton message that included the anti-Semitic remark, “Cnn implicated. ‘The USSR is to blame!’ … Not anymore, Jews. Not anymore.”
Stephen MIller has long-standing ties to the Alt-Right, including White Supremacist Richard Spencer.
- According to Richard Spencer, the white nationalist alt-right founder, he and Miller met each other and clicked as members of the Duke Conservative Union (DCU). In October, Spencer told Mother Jones that “Miller helped him with fundraising and promotion for an on-campus debate on immigration policy that Spencer organized in 2007 featuring influential white nationalist Peter Brimelow.” Another former member of the DCU confirmed to Mother Jones that Miller and Spencer worked together on the event. At meetings of the Conservative Union, Miller “denounced multiculturalism and expressed concerns that immigrants from non-European countries were not assimilating,” a former DCU president told the magazine.
- Miller went to Washington. He first worked as a press secretary for Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann and John Shadegg before landing with Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2009. (Horowitz recommended Miller for the job.) Miller soon became Sessions’ right-hand man, “providing,” as Tucker Carlson told Politico, “the intellectual architecture for a [nationalist] insurgency against the Republican Party.”