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Who will be Trump’s national security adviser?

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump will interview four candidates today to replace his dismissed national security adviser, three of them military veterans, but one of the United States’ most prominent retired generals, whose name had been floated, is not in the running.

MELBOURNE, Fla. >> President Donald Trump will interview four candidates on Sunday to replace his dismissed national security adviser, three of them military veterans, but one of the United States’ most prominent retired generals, whose name had been floated, is not in the running.

A White House spokesman said Saturday that Trump would speak with Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, a prominent military strategist; Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; and Keith Kellogg, a retired lieutenant general already serving as acting national security adviser.

Trump, who is spending the weekend in Florida, will also interview John Bolton, who served as President George W. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations and has previously been considered for deputy secretary of state.

The national security adviser is a crucial figure in any White House, but Trump has struggled to find the right person to fill the post. His first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, lasted only 24 days before Trump requested his resignation for misinforming Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of a conversation with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

Bolton shares Trump’s strong antipathy toward the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by former President Barack Obama, and he would presumably continue the tough approach begun by Flynn of pressuring Tehran over its ballistic missile program and its sponsorship of terrorist groups. But Bolton has also taken a stronger position on Russia than Trump or Flynn.

McMaster, a highly decorated Army officer, is considered one of the military’s leading intellectuals. In 2012, he was the head of a task force fighting corruption in Afghanistan. He is now the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center at Fort Eustis in Virginia.

Caslen, who was in the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, and went back into the building after it was hit by a hijacked plane, served in key roles in Iraq and Afghanistan. A West Point graduate, he took command of the military academy in 2013.

Kellogg served for 36 years in the Army, including two tours in Vietnam, where he earned the Silver Star and other medals. He served as a foreign policy adviser to Trump during his campaign and was appointed chief of staff at the National Security Council after the election.

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  • I wonder if members of Mar-A-Lago will be invited to sit in on the interviews. Previously, at his Bedminster, NJ golf club, Trump invited members to sit in on his interviews with potential cabinet members.

    “We’re doing a lot of interviews tomorrow — generals, dictators, we have everything,” Trump told the crowd, according to an audio tape. “You may wanna come around. It’ll be fun. We’re really working tomorrow. We have meetings every 15, 20 minutes with different people that will form our government. We’re going to be interviewing everybody — Treasury, we’re going to be interviewing Secretary of State,” he continued. “We have everybody coming in — if you want to come around, it’s going to be unbelievable….so you might want to come along.”

    This is a government run like a reality television show.

  • The Trump administration is a month old, and the National Security Council hasn’t met yet, although in violation of a disarmament treaty Russia deployed nuclear-tipped cruise missiles aimed at Europe, North Korea has tested a missile (before the launch, Trump said “It won’t happen,” but after the launch he was silent), Russian jets buzzed American ships, and Russia interferes in European elections. This is dangerously incompetent.

  • President Trump select John Bolten! Why you say?
    Ambassador John Bolten’s demeanor is a calm, cool,calculated, and an intelligent person. He doesn’t speak spontaneously,but thinks before he speaks. Guy’s an excellent speaker! I think both sides of the isle can agree with his past experience as United States Ambassador to the UN.He just a great guys everyone can get along with.Best part? He doesn’t have all that dirty laundry or extra baggage which the democrat will most likely critique…..like they,The Democrats? Are “Clean as the Driven Snow”. Right?

    • Well Trump’s first three choices – Flynn, Harward & Petraeus – flamed out on him, so everything’s great, right? Hope he has a long list of first, best choices available!

      Trump’s administration is a flaming hot mess. John Bolton? Who better than someone who wants to declare war as frequently as possible?

      • Don’t often agree with you but you’re correct on this one. John Bolton is the worst possible choice. A hard, hard liner who will pull Trump into making rash decisions.

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