Robert O'Brien: Trump names new national security adviser


President Trump has installed a new national security adviser, Robert C. O'Brien, who apparently called him the greatest hostage negotiator in US history and has the same history of often-hyperbolic pro-Trump punditry that has become a feature of top administration officials. Mr Bolton left the Trump administration last week following disagreements with the U.S. president over policy towards Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea.

O'Brien is now the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department.

Trump said in his tweet that he's worked "long and hard" with O'Brien. "He will do a great job!"

The announcement came a week after Trump fired John Bolton, citing disagreements on several issues, and as he confronts a major foreign policy crisis following the attack on Saudi oil facilities - which the administration has blamed on Iran.

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O'Brien previously co-chaired the State Department's justice reform initiative in Afghanistan, as well as advised the government on the trafficking of antiquities, according to his biography.

O'Brien was most recently in the news when Trump dispatched him to Sweden to try to ensure the return of American rapper A$AP Rocky, who was accused of assault. Just an hour before Trump's tweet, the press office announced that Bolton would join Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a briefing.

Robert O'Brien, former USA special envoy ambassador, arrives at the district court in Sweden to follow the trial against American rapper A$AP Rocky, on August 1.

One senior White House official argued the pick shows that Trump "wants a consensus builder, not a showboater" in the role, suggesting O'Brien will cut a lower profile and work better with others in the administration than John Bolton did. O'Brien was confirmed by the Senate.

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However, Mr O'Brien also has long links to Mr Bolton. O'Brien was among five job candidates Trump said Tuesday were under consideration.

"Robert O'Brien said Trump is the greatest hostage negotiator in history". Bolton's departure left Pompeo unchallenged as Trump's closest foreign policy adviser.

Trump's first choice, Michael Flynn, was gone after three weeks for lying to the administration - and subsequently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation - over contacts with Russian Federation during the Trump transition to government.

O'Brien, who received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and his law degree from U.C. Berkeley, is the co-founding partner of Larson O'Brien LLP in Los Angeles.

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