Trump picks hostage negotiator O'Brien for top security job

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President Trump announced Wednesday that Robert O'Brien, the special envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department, will be his next national security advisor. He was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as a USA representative to the 60th session of the U.N. General Assembly, where he worked with Bolton, whom Trump fired last week.

O'Brien is now the State Department's special presidential envoy for hostage affairs. "He will do a great job!", he added.

O'Brien has been a fan of the recently departed Bolton after the two worked together when Bolton was US ambassador to the United Nations in 2005 during George W. Bush's presidency.

"O'Brien joined the administration in May 2018 and serves as the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department".

He comes into the new job with backing from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior Republicans in Congress. He has also worked on the case of missing US journalist Austin Tice, who was captured in Syria in 2012.

"The president has had unparalleled success in bringing Americans home without paying concessions, without prisoner exchanges, but through force of will and the goodwill that he's generated around the world", O'Brien said at the time. Mr Trump tweeted as he announced the decision. O' Brien was confirmed by the Senate.




O'Brien also complimented Trump in brief remarks while standing alongside the President.

Trump was considering a number of other candidates for the post, and yesterday named five people under consideration: O'Brien, Ricky Waddell, Fred Fleitz, Keith Kellogg, and Lisa Gordon-Hagerty.

He called the president "the greatest hostage negotiator that I know of in the history of the United States". Bolton's departure left Pompeo unchallenged as Trump's closest foreign policy adviser. He was a major in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Trump's first choice, Michael Flynn, was gone after three weeks for lying to the administration - and subsequently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation - over contacts with Russian Federation during the Trump transition to government.

O'Brien has a law degree from the University of California-Berkeley and co-founded a law firm in Los Angeles focused on litigation and global arbitration issues.

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