President Donald Trump on Wednesday revealed who would be replacing John Bolton as his national security advisor.
In a tweet, Trump said that Robert C. O’Brien, who until now worked as the Trump administration’s top hostage negotiator, had gotten the job.
“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,” the president wrote.
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
“I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!” Trump added.
Prior to becoming national security advisor, O’Brien served at the State Department’s Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.
“Working for Secretary Pompeo, O’Brien leads the U.S. Government’s diplomatic efforts on overseas hostage-related matters,” his bio on the State Department website reads.
“He works closely with the families of American hostages and advises the senior leadership of the U.S. Government on hostage issues. O’Brien also coordinates with the interagency Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell on the development and implementation of U.S. hostage recovery policy and strategy.”
O’Brien played a prominent role in the release from custody in Sweden of American rapper A$AP Rocky last month.
After the rapper was charged with assault following an incident between his entourage and another man, Trump expressed his vocal support for Rocky.
“O’Brien had been present in court in Sweden when the rapper’s trial began and had written to Swedish prosecutors urging them to release him,” NBC News reported.
O’Brien, who Trump on Tuesday called “fantastic,” was one of five people who the president had said were finalists for the job.
“Administration officials had viewed him as a safe choice given his strong rapport with colleagues at the State Department and the Pentagon,” The Washington Post reported.
“His ‘affable demeanor’ contrasts with Bolton, who was known as a ruthless bureaucratic infighter, an administration official said last week, requesting anonymity to speak more candidly.”
Prior to his time in the Trump administration, O’Brien worked as a George W. Bush-nominated representative to the United Nations. He also worked for the State Department during the Obama administration, and is the co-founder of a Los Angeles-based law firm called Larson O’Brien LLP.
O’Brien, a former major in the U.S. Army Reserve, is Trump’s fourth national security advisor, after Bolton, H.R. McMaster and Michael Flynn.
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