From the September 8 edition of NBC’s Today:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE (CO-HOST): You take a step back and you listen to what was said last night, a lot of people are struck by the fact that Donald Trump seemed to have praise for Vladimir Putin while seeming to denigrate America's generals, saying they have been “reduced to rubble,” in his words. How do you explain that?
MICHAEL FLYNN: Well, first of all, I think that the format last night was great. I think the questions that came out of the audience were great. This business about the generals being reduced to rubble, Donald Trump has enormous respect for our military, has enormous respect for our military leadership.
GUTHRIE: You were at the Defense Intelligence Agency. You know as well as anybody else what Vladimir Putin has been up to recently. Are you concerned at all about the way that Donald Trump talks about Putin? He said last night, “If Putin says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him.” I mean, that is not exactly the model of standing tough on the world stage against an adversary.
FLYNN: Yeah, we've become the best enemies in the world because we continue to telegraph everything we're going to do, and we’ve become the worst friends. One of the things, and he also mentioned this, Matt, was that Russia has a problem with ISIS. We have a problem with ISIS. Russia is in the Middle East, whether we like it or not, and we probably could have prevented that had we made smarter decisions a couple years ago, but we did not. So what we have to do is we have to figure out how do we work together against some of these common enemies that we have? I mean, we have to do that. We don’t -- actually we have run out of a lot of options. And the decisions that were made pulling out of Iraq in 2011 have led to this rise of this massive problem that we now call the Islamic State.
GUTHRIE: Complex topic, and we could have another hour on it. General Michael Flynn, thank you.
FLYNN: Yeah we could. Great job last night though, NBC did a superb job.