Trump names hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien as national security adviser

BREAKING President Trump Announces a New National Security Advisor

President Donald Trump on Wednesday named Robert O'Brien, a State Department official who has specialized in hostage issues, as his new national security adviser.

Trump in April tweeted a quote from the "Chief Hostage Negotiator, USA!" - an apparent reference to O'Brien's post at the time - which labeled Trump the "greatest hostage negotiator that I know of in the history of the United States".

The announcement came a week after Trump fired John Bolton over disagreements on Iran and other issues.

The position of national security adviser doesn't require Senate confirmation.

In his current role, O'Brien "leads the USA government's diplomatic efforts on overseas hostage-related matters", according to his biography on the State Department's website. O'Brien also expressed reservations about Trump, saying he "talks about his love for the military and our veterans, but he has also made troubling statements about cutting the defense budget". He was also dispatched by Trump to Stockholm this summer during the assault case faced by US hip-hop artist A$AP Rocky, with the Swedish government taking pains to release a statement noting "this case is not in any way a "hostage affair".

Bolton appeared to be waging numerous battles within the White House, most recently over Afghanistan and North Korea, that seemed at odds with the president's wishes.

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Interestingly enough, O'Brien world under the former National Security Advisor John Bolton in 2005.

Under former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, Mr O'Brien also served as co-chair of the state department's Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan.

O'Brien set forth his foreign policy beliefs in his 2016 book 'While America Slept.' In it, he called for a strengthening of America's military alliances - the relevance of which Trump has questioned in the past - and an aggressive posture against China.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also under serious consideration for the job, which he would have added onto his current duties as the United States' top diplomat.

Earlier in his career, O'Brien was a senior legal officer for the UN Security Council commission that decided claims against Iraq that arose from the Gulf War. He was a major in the US Army Reserve.

O'Brien has a law degree from the University of California-Berkeley and co-founded a law firm in Los Angeles focused on litigation and worldwide arbitration issues.

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