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Trump Names Hostage Envoy O'Brien National Security Adviser

19 September 2019

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday Robert C. O'Brien will be his new National Security Advisor.

He is now the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department and has served with past administrations and advised former presidential candidates.

He tweeted: "Would be very hard for Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's Labour Party, to seek a no-confidence vote against New Prime Minister Boris Johnson, especially in light of the fact that Boris is exactly what the UK has been looking for, & will prove to be 'a great one!' Love UK".

"I've had the opportunity to work with Mr. O'Brien during his time in the State Department on issues regarding religious liberty and Utahns overseas in Russia, China and throughout the world", Lee said in a statement.

His hostage role had been overseen by Mike Pompeo, the USA secretary of state, whose power within the administration is growing.

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But what really doesn't make any sense is Bolton's neoconservative foreign policy, which has been repudiated by almost two decades of expensive, bloody, and futile military engagements across the Middle East and Central Asia that have left chaos and new breeding grounds for terrorism in their wake.

Like Pompeo, O'Brien kept his distance from then-candidate Trump during his unruly rise through the Republican ranks. Shortly after Trump's win in November 2016, in an interview with Larry King, O'Brien endorsed Mitt Romney for secretary of state. Pompeo's State Department at times can look like a veritable "hall of Never Trump", as the secretary has retained the services of formerly trenchant critics of the president, such as Elliot Abrams, a leading neoconservative, and Mary Kissel. Under the Trump administration, that reputation reversed, Bolton only made it worse. O'Brien is the author of "While America Slept", a collection of essays on US national security and foreign policy billed as a "wake-up call to the American people".

Trump castigated Bolton's troubled foreign policy track record in extraordinary terms after he axed him, giving hope to those who believed Trump would, finally, more forcefully turn the page on Republican foreign policy orthodoxy.

While speaking to reporters on Wednesday in Los Angeles, California, Trump said he has 'good chemistry, ' - indicating that he feels their working relationship may be more compatible than with Bolton. First on deck: dealing with Iran, which offers multiple opportunities for disaster.

O'Brien, standing alongside Trump, said it was a "privilege" to be picked.

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After the attack on the United States drone in June, Trump was prepared to launch a retaliatory strike against Iran - but later announced that he had changed his mind. Ribbing Senator Lindsey Graham, Trump said: "No Lindsey, it was a sign of strength that some people just don't understand!"

Iran continues to spook America's national security community. O'Brien secured Sweden's release of American rap star A$AP Rocky in a maneuver that greatly impressed the president and his family.

He also was an adviser on the Republican presidential campaigns of former Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Sen.

The hawkish national security advisor reportedly griped about Trump calling off a planned military strike against Iran "at the very last minute" in June after Fox News host Tucker Carlson advised him against the strike.

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Trump Names Hostage Envoy O'Brien National Security Adviser