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Donald Trump continues to build controversial team that has appalled Washington insiders

President-elect Donald Trump has made two 'shocking' appointments. Credit: Reuters

Donald Trump has made three appointments. Two are controversial - even shocking - and this transition is only just beginning.

One was announced a few days ago.

Stephen Bannon - who critics accuse of being a white nationalist and a racially inflammatory propagandist for the website Breitbart - will be the new chief strategist at the White House.

And now today we have General Michael Flynn as the new National Security Adviser (it's been widely reported that he has been offered the job, but there's been no confirmation he has accepted it).

Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn arrives at Trump Towers. Credit: Reuters

Flynn was a three-star General and the chief intelligence officer at the Pentagon before he was pushed aside by President Obama.

He was punished for being a provocative figure, a poor manager of the Defence Intelligence Agency, and at times insubordinate to his military and political superiors.

He served multiple tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

But - here's the awkward truth - he is widely regarded by some of the most thoughtful people in US national security circles as unhinged.

One person who knows Flynn well told me that he combines an enormous ego with low intelligence.

President Obama thought Michael Flynn was a provocative figure. Credit: Reuters

His judgement is also in question. He distributed a widely circulated and extremely offensive anti-Muslim viral video. Flynn also attended a Kremlin-financed dinner for the Russian TV network, Russia Today.

The US General sat next to President Putin, raising questions about his relationship with Moscow.

Make no mistake: Trump has made two appointments now that have appalled mainstream Washington insiders.

The National Security Adviser has a critical role in the White House - the top manager of America's response to an international crisis, and the President's closest confidante on foreign policy.

That job now appears to be in the hands of a national security maverick who will struggle to win the confidence of either the Pentagon or the CIA.

If there's disarray in the transition now, just wait. It could quickly deteriorate.