Trump transition official is active on white nationalist social media platform

Michael Flynn Jr. hopes to get his father, Trump’s pick for national security adviser, to switch to Gab.

With his son, Michael Flynn Jr. walking behind him, retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn gestures as he arrives at Trump Tower, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, in New York. CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
With his son, Michael Flynn Jr. walking behind him, retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn gestures as he arrives at Trump Tower, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, in New York. CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Michael Flynn Jr. — the son of Trump’s pick for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn — has used his social media platform to amplify unfounded conspiracy theories ranging from President Obama’s purported hatred of Christians to Sen. Marco Rubio’s alleged cocaine habit.

He made headlines Sunday for tweeting that PizzaGate — an unfounded conspiracy theory that Clinton aides are operating a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor — “remains a story” until it’s “proven to be false.”

Flynn Jr.’s unabashed conspiracy mongering — something his dad has also engaged in recently — hasn’t prevented him from forging close ties with President-elect Trump. On Monday, CNN reported that Flynn Jr. “has an official government transition email address,” which indicates he has a role on Trump’s transition team.

Foreign Policy reports that Flynn Jr. “has assisted in personnel vetting, managing his father’s schedule, and fielding transition-related emails for the general, according to a person close to the Trump transition team.” The unnamed source told Foreign Policy that Flynn Jr. also “accompanies his dad to a ton of meetings.”

On Twitter, Flynn Jr. has posted images of himself with his dad at Trump Tower and walking with Trump. His bio links to the Trump transition team’s official webpage.

As Twitter has cracked down on white nationalist accounts in recent weeks, many adherents of the movement have instead started using the social platform Gab, which bans users from engaging in illegal activity but nothing else. As the New York Times recently detailed, the platform — which uses a frog for its logo — “has emerged as a digital safe space for the far right, where white nationalists, conspiracy-theorist YouTubers, and minivan majority moms can gather without liberal interference.” Several white nationalists who have been banned from Twitter — including Milo Yiannopoulos, Richard B. Spencer, and Ricky Vaughn — have resurfaced there.

Flynn Jr.’s Twitter bio actually includes a link to his Gab page. On Gab, Flynn Jr. follows white nationalists and posted that he hopes to convince his dad to switch to the new platform.

On Sunday — the same day he was tweeting about PizzaGate — Flynn Jr. used Gab to praise a racist collage, created by a user to deride Obama’s “so called legacy,” linking Obama to African American criminals and Muslim terrorists.

Flynn Jr.’s bigoted message echoes sentiments that his dad has also expressed on social media.

During an interview with the New York Times late last month, Trump attempted to distance himself from white nationalists, saying, “I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group… I disavow and condemn.”

But with Flynn Sr. poised to become his top adviser on security issues and Flynn Jr. serving in an official role as well — not to mention that Trump’s top strategist is set to be Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart boss who a former colleague said “occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners” — it’s easy to see why Trump’s disavowal rings hollow.