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Donald Trump taps retired Gen. Michael Flynn for national security adviser

A Trump transition official also said Mitt Romney, who meets with President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday, is under consideration for secretary of state.

By Stephen Feller
Donald Trump taps retired Gen. Michael Flynn for national security adviser
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, shown speaking at the Republican National Convention in July, has been offered the role of national security adviser in the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- At the end of the first full week since the election of Donald Trump, his inner circle is starting to come into focus with the selection of a national security adviser and the growing possibility that former presidential candidate Mitt Romney would be offered a Cabinet position.

Trump offered retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn the job of national security adviser, inviting one of Trump's strongest campaign backers to an important White House role.

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Word also leaked late Thursday that Romney, whom Trump has criticized in the past, would be meeting with the president-elect on Saturday and is in consideration for secretary of state.

While there has been no announcement that Flynn accepted the offer, he was a strong adviser and supporter during the campaign.

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Flynn has attracted some scrutiny in the past, calling the U.S. response to the rise of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, weak. He was fired by President Barack Obama for public criticism of U.S. military policy.

Some say Trump's selection of Flynn suggests a more aggressive approach to the war on terrorism is in the cards for the incoming administration, which Trump promised during his campaign. Flynn has previously argued that "Islam is a political ideology" that requires a harder tactic than the United States has used so far.

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Flynn's seeming affinity for Russia -- he has dined with Russian President Vladimir Putin -- and inclination toward stronger military action would suggest he is on the same page as the Trump administration on changing the way U.S. relations with the country and its leader work.

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There had been speculation Trump would choose former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as secretary of state but Trump transition officials signaled to reporters Thursday the president-elect was considering Romney for the job. Romney is scheduled to meet with Trump in New York on Saturday.

Trump viciously criticized Romney during the campaign this year -- saying he "choked like a dog" during his 2012 election loss to Obama -- and Romney campaigned hard against Trump, suggesting he would fundamentally change the country in "dangerous" ways.

In addition to Romney and Giuliani, Trump is also considering former United Nations ambassador John Bolton and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for secretary of state.

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