“The extremism of some of these characters is quite profound,” Phyllis Bennis told the Real News Network regarding Trump’s proposed foreign policy appointments.
Trump has chosen General Michael Flynn, who was fired as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Obama administration, as his national security advisor. This appointment does not have to approved by the Senate. Bennis said Flynn is largely viewed by people in both parties as “somewhat of a nut job.”
Former KKK leader David Duke tweeted in support of Trump’s choice of Flynn, saying, “Great Pick!”
“When you’re getting support from the Klan for your choice of national security advisor,” Bennis said, “we’re in very serious trouble here.”
There has also been talk of former U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton as a pick for secretary of state. Bolton, Bennis said, is known for his extremist set of calls on Iran.
Bennis said we can’t know how many of these picks are a result of Trump’s own views, or how many reflect Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s views, or Trump’s son-in-law and close advisor Jared Kushner.
“We do know he has a heavy dose of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim sentiment behind him,” Bennis said, even if it is still a mystery who’s calling the shots.
None of Trump’s picks so far match the kind of neo-isolationsist policies he pushed in the earlier days of his campaign.
As these names start coming up they’re generating enormous unease among mainstream press and political figures, Bennis said, but what’s more important is the social movements out there that are resisting Trump’s picks and focusing on foreign policy.
“We’re seeing just how dangerous these appointments are and I think it’s going to generate a much stronger movement,” Bennis said.