Trump names hostage negotiator as national security adviser

Trump names hostage negotiator as national security adviser

Donald Trump has said he is naming hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien as his new national security adviser.

The president tweeted the announcement from California, while he was on the third and final day of a West Coast fundraising drive.

“I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O’Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor,” Trump said. “I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!”

The announcement comes a week after the Republican president ousted John Bolton from the post, citing policy disagreements. Mr Bolton was Mr Trump’s third national security adviser.

Mr O’Brien was among five candidates Mr Trump said were under consideration.

As the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department, Mr O’Brien worked closely with the families of American hostages and advised administration officials on hostage issues.

He helped lead the department’s public-private partnership for justice reform in Afghanistan during the Bush and Obama administrations.

From 2008 to 2011, Mr O’Brien was a presidentially appointed member of a government committee that advises on issues related to the trafficking of antiquities and other cultural items.

In 2005, President George W Bush nominated him to be US representative to the UN General Assembly, where he worked with Mr Bolton. Mr O’Brien was confirmed by the Senate.

He also was an adviser on the Republican presidential campaigns of former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, ex-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas senator Ted Cruz.

Earlier in his career, Mr 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.

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

Updated with further information at 4.15pm.

More on this topic

Donald Trump campaigns for former aide Sean Spicer on Dancing With The StarsDonald Trump campaigns for former aide Sean Spicer on Dancing With The Stars

Joe Biden’s son Hunter to quit Chinese-backed equity firm roleJoe Biden’s son Hunter to quit Chinese-backed equity firm role

Donald Trump says Kevin McAleenan is out at Homeland SecurityDonald Trump says Kevin McAleenan is out at Homeland Security

Ex-US envoy to Ukraine claims Donald Trump urged her removalEx-US envoy to Ukraine claims Donald Trump urged her removal

More in this Section

Officer resigns after fatal shooting of black woman playing video gameOfficer resigns after fatal shooting of black woman playing video game

Officer who killed black woman playing video game ‘should be charged’Officer who killed black woman playing video game ‘should be charged’

Jeremy Corbyn hits out over Queen’s Speech ‘farce’ led by Boris JohnsonJeremy Corbyn hits out over Queen’s Speech ‘farce’ led by Boris Johnson

Syrian army moves north amid fears of clash with TurkeySyrian army moves north amid fears of clash with Turkey


Lifestyle

Fiann Ó Nualláin follows in the footsteps of the Fianna as he explores a province’s hills and vales.Munster marvels: Plants that are unique to a province

Cupid must be something of a motoring enthusiast, as he had most definitely steered his way in the neighbourhood when Amie Gould and Shane O’Neill met at the Rally of the Lakes 12 years ago.Wedding of the Week: Cupid steers couple to right track

When it comes to podcasting, all it takes is one idea — and who knows where it can take you.Podcast Corner: Crimes and creatures rule at Cork’s first podcast fest

Claymation meets science fiction in this enchanting film, writes Esther McCarthy.Latest Shaun adventure is out of this world

More From The Irish Examiner