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Trump picks new National Security Advisor: State Dept. chief hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien

Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert O'Brien and Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo deliver remarks to families of Americans held captive abroad on April 2, 2019, at the Department of State. (Michael Gross/U.S. State Department)
September 18, 2019

Eight days after announcing the firing of John Bolton, President Trump has selected a new national security adviser on Wednesday.

“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!” Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday morning.

O’Brien, who is also an attorney, will be the fourth national security adviser of the Trump Administration.

He was sworn in as the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs on July 17, 2018.

He has been in charge of the government’s “diplomatic efforts on overseas hostage-related matters” and “works closely with the families of American hostages and advises the senior leadership of the U.S. government on hostage issues,” among other duties, according to his State Department bio.

The national security adviser post was empty for just more than a week after Trump announced on Sept. 10 via Twitter that he fired Bolton.

“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning,” President Trump had tweeted.

“I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week,” Trump added.

Bolton responded to the news via Twitter, saying, “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.’”

Trump and Bolton reportedly disagreed on a number of issues, including Iran and North Korea.