Trump names hostage envoy as new national security adviser

Thursday, 19 Sep, 2019

The Jewish and pro-Israel community immediately reacted to the selection of Robert O'Brien as U.S. President Donald Trump's fourth national security advisor, replacing John Bolton, who was ousted on September 10. As I wrote at the time, Trump was absolutely right to conclude that killing an estimated 150 Iranians was "not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone". "He will do a great job!"

"It's a privilege to serve with the President".

Bolton parted ways with Trump a little more than a week ago, his stormy ending coming shortly after he disagreed with the prospect of the president easing some sanctions on Iran, a person close to Bolton said.

Senate Republicans praised Mr Trump's pick as a solid choice.

"This wouldn't happen with all of these hostages and detainees without the support of the President", he said. In 2005, President George W Bush nominated O' Brien to be U.S. Representative to the U.N. General Assembly, where he worked with Bolton. O'Brien is the author of "While America Slept", a collection of essays on USA national security and foreign policy billed as a "wake-up call to the American people".

Bolton and Trump were at major impasses on issues such as Venezuela, Iran and North Korea.

The family members said O'Brien, who has a part-time status at the State Department, could have devoted the energy he spent monitoring the rapper's public trial working to free people held without any official acknowledgment, whose cases have vanished from the headlines, said a person who worked with O'Brien. He also criticized the proposed deal that was on the table between the terrorist organization and the USA, saying that it "doesn't make any sense". O'Brien was among five job candidates Trump said Tuesday were under consideration.

But "a high authority, at the very last minute", without consulting anyone, decided not to do it, Bolton said.

USA officials indicated the president wanted an adviser who would be less of a public figure, and cause less controversy.

Trump said his work had been "unparalleled" and "tremendous".

At one point, Bolton, a previous chairman of Gatestone who has resumed his title at the think tank, suggested that had the US retaliated for the drone shootdown, Iran might not have damaged the Saudi oil fields. While he has long sought to appear strong on Iran, he has promised voters he won't be drawn into another Middle East war and says he's open to talking. He is not as well known as the previous national security advisors but has a stellar history with the State Department and a long list of qualifications.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins, Nicole Gaouette and Jennifer Hansler contributed reporting.