President Donald Trump announced this afternoon that he is naming Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, replacing the ousted Michael Flynn.
“He’s a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience,” Trump said as he introduced McMaster to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida before leaving to return to Washington. “He is highly respected by everyone in the military, and we’re very honored to have him.”
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who has been serving as acting national security adviser, will become the National Security Council chief of staff, Trump said.
“I think that combination is something very, very special,” Trump said of McMaster and Kellogg, later adding: “What a team. This is a great team.”
Both men were among four candidates whom aides said Trump had planned to interview this weekend as he sought someone to replace Flynn.
Flynn was asked to resign last week amid allegations that he discussed U.S. sanctions with a Russian official before Trump took office and then misrepresented the content of that conversation to Vice President Pence and other administration officials.
Trump’s first choice of a replacement – retired Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward – turned him down.
Trump also told reporters Monday that John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who had been considered for the national security adviser position, would be asked “to work with us in a somewhat different capacity.”
“We had some really good meetings with him,” Trump said. “Knows a lot. He had a good number of ideas that I must tell you I agree very much.”
In brief remarks Monday, McMaster said it would be “a privilege” to continue to serve the nation. “I look forward to joining the national security team and doing everything that I can to advance and protect the interests of the American people,” he said.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · John Wagner