US President Donald Trump will appoint Robert O'Brien as his national security adviser. The American president announced this on his Twitter.
“I am pleased to announce that I will appoint Robert O'Brien, the new National Security Advisor, who is currently very successfully working as the President’s Special Envoy for Hostages in the Department of State. I worked with Robert for a long time. He’ll do a great job! ”Trump said.
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
It is worth noting that, unlike most other senior officials, the president can appoint a national security adviser without approval by the senate.
Recall that O'Brien will be the fourth person in this post during the presidency of Donald Trump. A previous adviser, John Bolton, was fired from his post on Tuesday, September 10th. Trump justified such a decision by disagreeing with Bolton's proposals in the field of international relations. Later, the head of the White House stated that the ex-adviser “made very big mistakes” and did not find a common language with “important people” in the Trump administration.
On September 17, the head of the White House announced five candidates for this position.
In addition to O'Brien, the post of National Security Advisor could also be occupied by retired Major General Maj. Gen. Ricky Waddell, former First Deputy Deputy, Keith Kellogg, National Security Advisor, Vice President of the White House National Security Council, Fred Fitz, and Deputy Minister Nuclear Safety Authority Lisa Gordon-Haggerty.
It has also been suggested that Trump may appoint current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to this post. In particular, this was reported by CNN. In this case, Pompeo would have combined two positions, the last time such a dual appointment was received by Henry Kissinger under President Richard Nixon. However, Trump categorically dismissed this assumption. Then the head of the White House said that he wants "that someone else should take up this post."
- © TT News Agency / Fredrik Persson
The identity of the new adviser
Robert O'Brien has a law degree. In 2007-2011, he led the training program for judges, lawyers and prosecutors in Afghanistan, implemented with the support of the State Department, in 2013 and 2014, he attended the presidential elections in Georgia and the parliamentary elections in Ukraine as an observer from the US International Republican Institute *.
According to The Washington Post, O'Brien’s possible appointment of O'Brien as a “safe choice” for the post was called in Washington because he has good relations with colleagues at the Department of State and the Pentagon.
For Trump, O'Brien’s candidacy is now very convenient, told American political analyst Dmitry Drobnitsky to RT. His current position in the State Department, the special representative, does not imply great independence, and Trump now just needs a simple executor of his decisions, the expert believes. In addition, O'Brien worked “on rather sensitive issues” related to the hostages, in particular, he helped a lot to release the American citizens convicted in the DPRK on the eve of the first summit of Trump and Kim Jong-un.
“He cannot under any circumstances be called any technical adviser on national security, but at the same time he is a person without any great political subjectivity. Bolton angered Trump by the fact that for some time he carried out all his instructions exactly, and then again began his usual agenda, not only arguing with the president, but also making public statements and certain steps. You should not expect this from O'Brien, he is very professional and used to working in silence and without publicity, ”the expert believes.
On the other hand, it will be difficult for O'Brien to decipher Trump’s signals, which is notable for its inconsistency, said Vladimir Bruter, an expert at the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Studies.
“Everything will depend, firstly, on what successes will be, and secondly, how much O'Brien will adhere to those conflicting signals that he will receive from Trump. Otherwise, the fate of previous advisers will befall him. Moreover, in my opinion, he is ready to work just like that, the question is that Trump is too often unpredictable, ”the expert said in a conversation with RT.
Much will depend on whether the new adviser will argue with Trump, political analyst Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak believes. In his opinion, Trump is distinguished by a rather "authoritarian style of government", and if O'Brien does not enter into public disputes with the president and actively contradict him on key issues, he has a good chance of staying for a long time. However, agreeing with the authorities "is not in the American political tradition," the expert notes.
* “Corporation“ International Republican Institute ”(International Republican Institute) - an organization whose activity is recognized as undesirable in the territory of the Russian Federation by decision of the General Prosecutor's Office of 08/18/2016.