New U.S. National Security Adviser Named
President Trump on Wednesday selected Robert C. O’Brien, the U.S. State Department’s chief hostage negotiator, to become his new national security adviser, various media outlets report.
In choosing O’Brien to replace John R. Bolton, who left the White House last week, the president chose a Los Angeles lawyer who had impressed him with his work to extricate Americans detained by countries like North Korea and Turkey, the New York Times reports.
However, it is not clear how different his advice will be from his predecessor given that O’Brien previously worked for Bolton and has cited similar views in the past.
Trump announced the selection on Twitter, shortly after saying he would also substantially increase sanctions on Iran after weekend attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia that officials in Washington and the region have blamed on the Tehran government.
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. I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2019
Trump, who is in California for a second day of campaign fundraising, did not elaborate on how sanctions could be increased, but the move may have been a way of offering a tough response to the attacks in Saudi Arabia without necessarily using military force, the Times reports.