PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) — A Rhode Island native who has risen to national prominence as an adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign says he would consider a position in the president-elect’s cabinet if offered, though he says it’s not his main priority.
“There’s a lot of things to do and a lot of different ways to serve,” retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said in an interview with Eyewitness News on Wednesday. “I didn’t come into this thing to get a job.”
Flynn said he had just left Trump Tower before speaking to Eyewitness News, after a whirlwind day of interviews and discussions with staffers following Trump’s stunning victory over Hillary Clinton, which was declared early Wednesday morning.
“I know the challenges that he is going to face,” Flynn said, adding that his main goal was to get Trump elected. “If I can help, I will be willing to help.” Flynn did not go as far as to say he’d be interested in the job of defense secretary, for which he is widely considered a contender, but he said he would consider any job offer made to him by Trump.
“I’d have to give it some thought,” he said. “It would have to be a conversation that we’d have to have for the right reasons.”
Another possibility for Flynn could be serving as Trump’s national security adviser, the title he held in the campaign. Flynn said he is meeting with Trump Thursday morning before the president-elect heads to Washington, D.C, to meet with President Obama.
Michael Flynn was born in Fort Meade, Maryland, and grew up in Middletown, where he attended St. Mary’s School in Newport, Middletown Middle School and Middletown High School before attending the University of Rhode Island. While he is currently based in Washington, he still owns a home in Middletown, and visits the Ocean State frequently.
Flynn may have helped elect a Republican nominee to the presidency, but he says he still considers himself a Democrat. He was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Obama, but left in 2014.
“I was let go about a year earlier than normal, because of basically a falling out with the administration over my position on the rise of radical Islam,” Flynn said. He said he staunchly opposes both the Clinton and Bush camps, and when he met Trump in 2015, he was attracted to his “leadership and his love of his country.”
He currently runs a business called Flynn Intelligence Group, Inc., which he said tackles cybersecurity, has an aviation arm, and does strategic advising for companies and countries.
Over the summer, Flynn gained national attention after he delivered a fiery speech aimed at Hillary Clinton at the Republican National Convention.
“She put our nation’s security at extremely high risk with her careless use of a private email server,” he said in the speech at the time.
While his role in the future Trump administration remains unknown, Flynn was confident about what he thinks needs to be done.
“We need to strengthen our military quite a bit,” Flynn said. “That’s going to be one of the priorities of a Trump administration.”