‘It’s a great thing for RI,’ Whitehouse says of Flynn appointment

RI native Lt. Gen. Flynn considers future in Trump administration »
RI native Lt. Gen. Flynn considers future in Trump administration »

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — President-elect Donald Trump has appointed retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security adviser, making him the second Rhode Island native to hold the position of the last three.

The U.S. Senate will need to confirm some of Trump’s picks for his administration, but not Flynn. U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse praised the Middletown native as a military man.

“It’s a great thing for Rhode Island to have this tradition of service reflected in this way,” said Whitehouse.

“He’s a great, professional soldier,” added Reed. “We traveled extensively together in Afghanistan. We never spoke about politics, we always talked about the troops.”

Now, Flynn will be on the policy side of things. It will be a big transition, according to Reed.

“I wish him well,” he said. “But these are a whole new sets of skills that he has to master and demonstrate.”

The senators also spoke of their colleague, Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has been tapped as attorney general. The Senate will have to confirm him, and both Reed and Whitehouse said they’re taking a wait-and-see approach.

“He’s been hotly opposed to any progress on immigration reform, and I think that’s an important issue for us to address,” Whitehouse explained. “So I think I’ll wait to let that one play out a little bit more.”

“I think those hearings are going to be very, very revealing,” said Reed.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is taking a harder line on Sen. Sessions, calling on President-elect Trump to reverse his decision and urging the Senate not to confirm him, saying “there can be no compromise with racism.”