Trump Names HR McMaster as National Security Adviser
Army lieutenant general to replace Michael Flynn, who resigned last week following revelations he misled Vice President Mike Pence about contacts with a Russian envoy
Wa s h i n g t o n : US P r e s i d e n t Donald Trump on Monday named L i e u t e n a nt G e n e r a l He r b e r t Raymond McMaster as his new national security adviser, choosing a military officer known for speaking his mind and challenging his superiors.
McMaster is a highly regarded military tactician and strategic thinker, but his selection surprised some observerswhowonderedhowtheofficer, whoseArmycareerstalledattimesfor his questioning of authority, would deal with a White House that has not welcomed criticism.
“Heishighlyrespectedbyeverybody inthemilitaryandwe’reveryhonored to have him,” Trump told reporters in West Palm Beach where he spent the weekend. “He’s a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.” One subject on which Trump and McMaster could soon differ is Russia. McMaster shares the consensus view among the US national security establishmentthatRussiaisathreatandan antagonist to the United States, while themanwhomMcMasterisreplacing, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, appeared to view it more as a potential geopolitical partner. Trump in the past has expressed a willingness to engage with Russia more than his predecessor, Barack Obama. Flynn was fired as national security adviser on February 13 after reports emerged that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about speaking to Russia’s ambassador to the United States about US sanctions before Trump’s inauguration.
The national security adviser is an independent aide to the president and does not require confirmation by the US Senate. He has broad influence over foreign policy and attends National Security Council meeti n g s a l o n g wit h t he he ad s of t he State Department, the Department of Defense and key security agencies.
RepublicanSenator John McCain, chairman of the Senate A r med S e r v ic e s Committee and a frequent Trump critic, praised McMaster as an “outstanding” choice. “I give President Trump great credit for this decision,” McCain said in a statement. A former US am- bassador to Russia under Obama, Michael McFaul, a Democrat, praised McMasteronTwitteras“terrific”and said McMaster “will not be afraid to question his boss”.
McMaster, 54, is a West Point graduate known as “H.R.,” with a PhD in US history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was listed as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influentialpeoplein2014,partlybecause of his willingness to buck the system.
A combat veteran, he gained renown inthefirstGulfWar-andwasawarded a Silver Star - after he commanded a small troop of the US 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment that destroyed a much larger Iraqi Republican Guard force in 1991 in a place called 73 Easting, for its map coordinates, in what many consider the biggest tank battle since World War Two.
The national security adviser is an independent aide to the president and does not require confirmation by the US Senate
Donald Trump (R) and newly appointed National Security Adviser HR McMaster