Trump names fi­nal­ists to re­place Bolton

The Korea Times - - WORLD -

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) — U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Tues­day listed five pos­si­ble re­place­ments for re­cently fired na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser John Bolton, most of whom are al­ready fa­mil­iar faces from within his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser pro­vides ad­vice to the pres­i­dent on de­fense, se­cu­rity and diplo­matic is­sues. The job, the high­est White House po­si­tion on na­tional se­cu­rity, does not re­quire con­fir­ma­tion by the U.S. Se­nate.

The can­di­dates Trump said he was con­sid­er­ing in­clude Ricky Wad­dell, who was deputy na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser for a year when re­tired Gen­eral H.R. Mc­Mas­ter had the top job, and Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence’s se­cu­rity aide Keith Kel­logg, who was ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil un­til Bolton took over the of­fice 17 months ago.

A third can­di­date is hostage ne­go­tia­tor Robert O’Brien, who has a long his­tory in Repub­li­can for­eign pol­icy cir­cles.

Speak­ing to re­porters aboard Air Force One, Trump said an­other pos­si­ble suc­ces­sor to Bolton was Fred Fleitz. A for­mer CIA of­fi­cer, Fleitz has also served as ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil and was Bolton’s chief of staff at the State De­part­ment.

An out­spo­ken critic of Iran, Fleitz has es­poused hard-line views on Is­lam. He told Bre­it­bart News in 2017 that some Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties in the United States were sus­cep­ti­ble to a “rad­i­cal world view that wants to de­stroy mod­ern so­ci­ety, cre­ate a global caliphate, and im­pose sharia law on ev­ery­one on Earth.”

Trump’s fifth listed can­di­date is Lisa Gor­don-Hagerty, un­der sec­re­tary for nu­clear se­cu­rity of the U.S. De­part­ment of En­ergy.

Gor­don-Hagerty has worked in the pri­vate sec­tor and as a staff mem­ber in the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on se­cu­rity is­sues. She also served on the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil and in other roles in the En­ergy De­part­ment ad­dress­ing cri­sis man­age­ment, emer­gency re­sponse and nu­clear weapons.

How­ever, White House spokes­woman Stephanie Gr­isham is­sued a state­ment later say­ing the list men­tioned by Trump to the re­porters “was not the full list, and there are oth­ers be­ing con­sid­ered.” She did not name any ad­di­tional peo­ple.

Bolton was abruptly fired last week over his han­dling of North Korea and Venezuela. A lead­ing for­eign pol­icy hawk and Trump’s third na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser, Bolton had pressed the pres­i­dent not to let up pres­sure on North Korea de­spite diplo­matic ef­forts.

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