U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday picked U.S. hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien as National Security Adviser, replacing hardliner John Bolton who was fired abruptly last week after clashing with the President on a host of issues.
O’Brien, who will be the fourth person to hold the post in the Trump administration, has served as Trump’s special envoy for hostage affairs at the U.S. Department of State since May 2018 and has a long history in Republican foreign policy circles.
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
“I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump fired Mr. Bolton after disagreements over handling foreign policy matters relating to North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia and Venezuela.
O’Brien is an attorney from Los Angeles who has served as a foreign policy adviser to several Republican presidential campaigns, handled a number of high-profile legal cases and previously served in several State Department positions, including as an alternative representative to the UN General Assembly in 2005.
Mr. Trump recently dispatched Mr. O’Brien to Sweden for the court hearing of U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky, who was later convicted for assault.
Senate Republicans praised Trump’s pick as a solid choice.
“He understands the world for the dangerous place it is. He’s got great negotiating skills as our hostage negotiator,” Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters. “He’ll be a very sound policy adviser.”