Tags: Donald Trump | Michael Flynn | Trump Administration | james stavridis | intelligence | michael flynn | national security adviser

Stavridis: Flynn 'Best Intelligence Officer' But 'Seduced by Donald Trump'

Stavridis: Flynn 'Best Intelligence Officer' But 'Seduced by Donald Trump'
Former Lt. General Michael Flynn (Rex Features/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 December 2017 03:25 PM

Retired Adm. James Stavridis on Tuesday remembered Lt. General Michael Flynn as the "best intelligence officer" he had ever worked with, but believes now the decorated officer "was just seduced by Donald Trump."

"He was the best intelligence officer I ever worked with, and so at the end of the day, you have to ask yourself what happened?" said Stavridis, the dean at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "And all I can ascribe it to is kind of the flip side of bringing military into the civilian world."

People who have been in the military "have a tendency to really absorb what their boss is," said Stavridis, and "they tend to follow along."

"The military is such a hierarchy culture, I think Mike was just seduced by Donald Trump," Stavridis continued, but he doesn't think the FBI ruined Flynn's life, as the former National Security Adviser and Director of National Intelligence made his own choices, and he'll have to live with them.

Stavridis called the entire situation a "Greek tragedy."

"Mike Flynn is an absolutely rock solid soldier, and you kind of have to put that into context," he said. "He went to war again and again and again. He sees the world as a threat, not opportunity. That's kind of point one."

Also, Flynn was an intelligence officer, which is a subset in the military, said Stavridis, and he was "brilliant at this."

"He was my intelligence officer when I was NATO commander in Afghanistan," said Stavridis. "Worked for me for about a year and a half."

Stavridis, however, does think that after a lifetime of studying Russia, Flynn might have started to develop a "real fascination" with the country and its characters.

He also spoke about the growing tensions in North Korea, and told the program his expectations are "pretty low" about what will happen there.

"Partly that's because the president himself consistently has said diplomacy won't work here," Stavridis said. "He tweets to the secretary of state instead of picking up the phone to tell them . . . the danger here is so extreme that I can only hope that the combination of Gen. [James] Mattis, hopefully Gen. H.R. McMaster, maybe Sec. [Rex] Tillerson, maybe that will put the president on the sideline and allow diplomacy to work."

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Lt. General Michael Flynn was hailed as the "best intelligence officer" that Retired Adm. James Stavridis had ever worked with, but Stavridis believes now the decorated Flynn "was just seduced by Donald Trump."
james stavridis, intelligence, michael flynn, national security adviser
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 03:25 PM
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