Get to know Donald Trump's embattled ex-national security adviser

By Tierney McAfee and Char Adams
Updated February 14, 2017 03:52 PM

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn resigned from his position as Donald Trump‘s national security adviser on Monday — just weeks into the new presidency.

The news came after it was revealed that the embattled politician had misled White House officials about his conversations with Russian officials.

In the wake of the news, Trump shifted his focus from Flynn’s misdeeds to the leaks that brought them to light. Meanwhile, a group of GOP senators have called for an investigation into Flynn’s discussions with the Russian officials, CNN reports.

As Flynn continues to make headlines, here are five key things to know about the retired general.

1. Flynn’s resignation set the record for the shortest national security adviser tenure, according to TIME

Flynn’s 24-day tenure handily beat the previous record set by William H. Jackson, the first-ever national security aide who served for just four months in President Dwight Eisenhower’s administration.

2. He was forced out of his position as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in late 2014

Flynn, who is also known for his decades-long, respected military career, was nominated by Obama in 2012 to be the chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was forced out of the post after serving only two years. The reason behind his departure remains unclear, but The Washington Post and others have reported that he was forced out over his “chaotic” management style and clashes with other high-ranking officials. Flynn himself has claimed that he was fired because of “the stand I took on radical Islamism.”

3. Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr., traffics in hate crimes

Michael Flynn Jr. has routinely shared conspiracy theories, retweeted comments made by members of the alt-right, and made racially insensitive comments online, according to a CNN review of his Facebook and Twitter.

Flynn Jr. has shared articles and unfounded conspiracy theories alleging that top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and that Sen. Marco Rubio was secretly a homosexual who abused cocaine, according to CNN. He also repeatedly shared obscene memes and written profane posts attacking Trump’s political opponents.

In two tweets that were deleted after CNN reached out to Flynn for comment, he said minorities only voted for Barack Obama because of his skin color, and also defended whites-only dating sites by saying, “soooo African Americans can have B.E.T. but whites can’t have their own dating site? Hmmm…”

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4. Flynn has been criticized for his controversial views on Islam

Flynn has been a leading voice in criticizing the Obama administration for refusing to describe terror attacks by ISIS and other groups as “radical Islamic terrorism.” He has also claimed that Islam is a “political ideology” rather than a religion, and on Twitter, he once called the fear of Muslims “rational.”

5. Flynn’s company has appeared to lobby for the Turkish government, The New York Times reports

Trump has promised to prohibit registered lobbyists from working for his transition team or administration. But Flynn’s consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, is registered with Congress as a lobbying organization, The Intercept reports.

The firm has been under scrutiny for its relationship with Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, who said he’s paid Flynn’s firm “tens of thousands” of dollars for lobbying, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing The Intercept.

According to Politico, Alptekin has denied that his company, a Dutch consulting firm called Inovo BV, is linked to the Turkish government.

Flynn previously said he would sever his relationship with his firm if he was asked to serve in the Trump administration.