The son of Donald Trump’s national security advisor - who has pushed wild conspiracy theories on social media - has been dismissed from the president-elect’s transition team, vice president-elect Mike Pence has confirmed.
“Mike Flynn Jr is no longer associated with General Flynn’s efforts or with the transition team and we’re focussed eyes forward,” Pence told CNN, saying the younger Flynn had been helping his father with scheduling and other administrative work.
The ouster of 33-year-old Michael G Flynn, son of retired Lt Gen Michael Flynn - who was tapped last month for the powerful national security advisor role - came after he made controversial statements about an armed man’s weekend attack at a popular pizza restaurant in Washington.
Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, said he was investigating online “reports” that Comet Ping Pong was at the center of a pedophile ring linked to defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
No one was hurt after Welch fired off a round from his AR-15 rifle. Police quickly arrested him, discovering two more weapons, and said he had told them he drove up from North Carolina to personally investigate “Pizzagate”.
Still, Michael G Flynn tweeted that “Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it’ll remain a story.” He also retweeted the comments of others promoting the fake stories about the restaurant.
The incident raised questions about Gen Flynn himself. He had not commented publicly on the Comet incident, but in early November he tied Clinton to pedophile rings in a tweet of his own.
“U decide - NYPD Blows Whistle on New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes w Children, etc...MUST READ!” he wrote ahead of the November 8 election. He also provided a link to a related fake news story.