On September 17, 2019 President Donald Trump revealed to reporters at Air Force One that he has now narrowed his list to five finalists for the spot of national security adviser. However, it appears that U.S. hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien will be the next national security adviser according to recent reports.
Trump also considered Joint Chiefs of Staff Ricky Waddell, Energy Department nuclear security expert Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, former National Security Council chief of staff Fred Fleitz, and retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who currently serves as an advisor to Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump ruled out prominent candidates who have large bases of support, which include retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a staunch non-interventionist, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, and U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook..
O’Brien has a strong personal relationship with Trump. He appeared to be the current front-runner according to a few sources close to the White House. Most insiders don’t have a pulse for his policy leanings.
O’Brien’s recent tasks generally involved matters involving American hostages. However, he was tasked by Trump to help rapper A$AP Rocky get out of jail in Sweden over assault charges. The rapper was found guilty, but avoided jail time in Sweden.
For Trump’s America First agenda to move forward, he should have nominated Douglas Macgregor or at least an advisor that publicly rejects the neoconservative nation-building escapades of yesteryear.
At the end of the day, personnel is policy.
We can only hope that O’Brien turns out to be reasonable on foreign policy and discourages Trump from engaging in hawkish actions.