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Retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn had the temperament to serve as national security adviser while he was still in uniform, but comments made on the campaign trail are making a former Joint Chiefs chairman question his ability to take on that job in the Trump administration.

Retired Adm. Mike Mullen said Monday at the Aspen Institute that Flynn, who President-elect Trump named as his national security adviser last week, served as Mullen’s intelligence officer in the Pentagon for a little over a year.

“He’s a very creative guy and from what I saw took good care of people, treated people well, never had any inkling of not doing that when he was my intel officer,” Mullen said.

But Mullen added that comments Flynn made during Trump’s campaign are making him wonder if the retired officer is suited for the White House job, including Flynn encouraging chants of “lock her up” at the Republican National Convention.



“When I knew him, he clearly had the temperament. If it’s the ‘lock her up’ temperament, that’s not who I’d want to advise me from a national security perspective,” Mullen said.

Mullen also questioned Flynn’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and how that will affect his service in the administration.

“Certainly the trip to Russia where he’s sitting next to President Putin and his comments about Russian media tied to that raise questions, with respect, from my perspective and I think that’s obviously something that will unfold pretty quickly,” Mullen said.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., also slammed Flynn last week for both his temperament and his views on Turkey and Russia, saying that it “concerns me a great deal” that Trump will be advised by someone who “reinforces his view of Putin.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent a letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence last week seeking more information on Flynn’s potential conflicts of interest.

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“Recent news reports have revealed that Lt. Gen. Flynn was receiving classified briefings during the presidential campaign while his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, Inc., was being paid to lobby the U.S. Government on behalf of a foreign government’s interests,” Cummings wrote. “Lt. Gen. Flynn’s general counsel and principal, Robert Kelley, confirmed that they were hired by a foreign company to lobby for Turkish interests.”

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