September 28, 2021

Trump names Robert O’Brien as next national security adviser | TheHill


LOS ANGELES — President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: ‘I hope there’s an age limit’ on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE on Wednesday announced he intends to name the administration’s envoy for hostage negotiations, Robert O’Brien, as his next national security adviser.

“I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!” Trump tweeted.

I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O’Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor. I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2019

O’Brien will replace John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump names finalists for national security adviser The Hill’s Morning Report – What is Trump’s next move on Iran? Trump at a pivotal crossroads on Iran MORE, who Trump fired last week and later criticized for failing to align with the administration’s agenda on North Korea and Venezuela.

The role of national security adviser does not require Senate confirmation.

O’Brien will be Trump’s fourth national security adviser in less than three years. He follows Michael Flynn, H.R. McMaster and Bolton.

He steps into a challenging role as Trump faces crossroads on how to handle escalating tensions in Iran; stalled negotiations on denuclearization in North Korea; a worsening situation in Venezuela and other global issues.

O’Brien must also toe the line of advising Trump without overstepping, something the more hawkish Bolton was apparently unable to do.

Tapped in 2018 as the chief hostage negotiator for the State Department, O’Brien has worked to secure the release of Americans abroad. He was present for proceedings in Sweden involving rapper A$AP Rocky, whom Trump had urged the Swedish government to free after his arrest on assault charges.

O’Brien has worked in diplomatic relations for years. Former President George W. Bush chose him to serve as a representative to the United Nations General Assembly in 2005, and he served as co-chairman of a State Department initiative to train judges during the Bush and Obama administrations, prosecutors and defense lawyers in Afghanistan in an effort to bolster the Justice system there.

The president on Tuesday shared a short-list of candidates under consideration for the job with reporters aboard Air Force One while en route to California for fundraisers.

O’Brien was among those listed, along with former deputy national security adviser Ricky Waddell, Department of Energy official Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz, Army Gen. Keith Kellogg.

Updated at 10:05 a.m.

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Brett Samuels
The Hill

Filed Under: Essentials