Trump Taps Hostage Negotiator O’Brien for Top Security Job

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert C. O'Brien arrives to the district court, during the second day of ASAP Rocky's trial, in Stockholm, Sweden August 1, 2019. TT News Agency/Fredrik Persson via REUTERS
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert C. O'Brien arrives to the district court, during the second day of ASAP Rocky's trial, in Stockholm, Sweden August 1, 2019. TT News Agency/Fredrik Persson via REUTERS

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday named U.S. hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien as his choice to replace John Bolton as his national security adviser, making him the fourth person to hold the post in the Trump administration.

O’Brien, who has served as Trump’s special envoy for hostage affairs at the U.S. Department of State since May 2018, has a long history in Republican foreign policy circles.

“I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

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 U.N. General Assembly in 2005.

Trump had been weighing a number of potential replacements after Bolton left the post last week following disagreements with the president over his handling of North Korea and Venezuela.

His previous national security advisers were H.R. McMaster, who was replaced by Bolton in March 2018, and Michael Flynn, who was fired shortly after taking the role and later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

(Reporting by Makini Brice, Susan Heavey and Jonathan Landay; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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