RIPON, Wis. (WBAY) – President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for National Security Advisor was in Ripon Monday to present a speech at Ripon College.
Lt. General Michael Flynn is currently a vice-chair of Trump’s transition team.
He’s a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and spent more than 33 years in the military.
While he was on stage he spoke mostly about being called to serve and the necessity to protect this country.
“When we talk about sustaining our country, and I’ve said this about this election, this election is not about four years, this election has to be much, much different than that. This election has to be about the next 40, or 400.”
Flynn has been criticized for being outspoken about the threat of radical Islamic terrorism and says the U.S. should join forces with Russia to stop it.
He’s also suggested limiting immigration from predominantly Muslim countries, which did not come up at this event.
Flynn says President-elect Trump is the strong leader the world needs to fight totalitarianism.
“The world looks to the United States still for leadership, still. And when we experience a deficit of leadership in our country the world feels it. They feel it. and that deficit of leadership causes reverberations all over the place. Because tyranny and totalitarianism will always will always feel a vacuum, a void that’s left.”
His speech lasted about 45 minutes. Afterwards, he took questions from the audience. Members of the media were ordered to turn off any recording devices at that time.
Reaction among students differed along party lines.
“He’s the most knowledgeable intelligence, counter-intelligence terrorism officer in the United States right now, bar none. As director of the DIA he knows firsthand exactly how to defeat terrorism,” Christian Ryan of the Ripon College Republicans said.
“He didn’t provide many specifics. I almost thought, does he know what the national security direction is going to be in the future? Many unanswered questions, especially given his controversial past talking about Islam the way that he has, calling it a political ideology,” Rose Hogmire of the Ripon College Democrats said.
The event was scheduled by Ripon College before the presidential election.