President Donald Trump plans to speak Sunday with at least four candidates to be his next national security adviser, a spokesman said, signaling a desire to swiftly replace the ousted Michael Flynn.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Saturday that the candidates include John Bolton, a former United Nations ambassador; Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster; Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; and retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who is now serving in an acting capacity.
Trump, who is spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, could also talk to others, Spicer said.
Spicer added that former CIA director David Petraeus is out of the running.
Trump later told reporters that “many, many want the job” and that “I’ll make a decision in the couple of days, but we’re meeting with actually four of them tomorrow, all of whom want it.”
Trump added that he has a favorite who he did not name.
“I’ve been thinking about someone for the last three or four days, we’ll see what happens,” he said. “I’m meeting with that person. They’re all good, they’re all great people.”
Trump is working to replace Flynn, who was asked to resign this 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.
In an interview Saturday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that Kelley “is doing a great job.”
“It’s not like we’re sitting here without a job filled. It’s filled,” Priebus said.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · John Wagner