Trump's pick for NSA director largely avoids the topic in Ripon - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Trump's pick for NSA director largely avoids the topic in Ripon College speech

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RIPON (WKOW) -- The man tabbed by President-Elect Donald Trump to head the National Security Agency stayed away from any controversial comments as well as much discussion of the job he's about to take during a speech at Ripon College Monday.

In the past, Lt. General Michael Flynn has tweeted in the "fear of Muslims is RATIONAL" and also stated Islam was more of a political ideology than a religion.

While that type of rhetoric was absent before a standing-room only crowd at the Harwood Student Union, so was much mention of the subjects Flynn was brought to the school to discuss - national security and international relations.

Instead, Flynn covered a myriad of loosely woven topics related to what America needs during this political transition.

"As Americans - we tend to be very shortsighted. We tend to be very shortsighted and our country tends to be very shortsighted," said Gen. Flynn, who said we need to be more concerned about the next 40 years, rather than the next four.

If there was one over-arching theme from General Flynn, it was about patience and open lines of communication - between both our national leaders and each other - as the government transitions.

"We have to begin to see ourselves. There's ideologies out there and there's ideas that we have to challenge each other - you know - we have to challenge each other on," said Gen. Flynn.

But Flynn stressed that he believes in President-Elect Trump, without making any mention of the role he's been asked to serve by him.

"We have an individual who never ran for any kind of political office ever, who is now the President-elect of our country. And that's a good thing," said Gen. Flynn. "I think it's a wonderful thing. I think it just shows how smart the American people are."

General Flynn did make a few comments about the problem of radical Islamic terrorism - saying Muslim leaders need to step up and do more to stop it - but that was during a question and answer period with the audience that television news crews were not allowed to film.

Despite General Flynn's controversial stances on some issues, there were no protesters at the event.

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