Week after firing John Bolton, Donald Trump appoints hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien as national security adviser

US president Donald Trump announced that O'Brien will become his fourth national security adviser a week after he ousted John Bolton, citing policy disagreements

The Associated Press September 18, 2019 21:22:34 IST
Week after firing John Bolton, Donald Trump appoints hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien as national security adviser
  • US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he's naming hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien as his new national security adviser

  • O'Brien was among five candidates the Republican president had said Tuesday were being considered for the post

  • Earlier this year, Trump dispatched O'Brien to Sweden to keep tabs on the criminal case there against A$AP Rocky who was ultimately found to be guilty of assault

Washington: US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he's naming hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien, who Trump had monitor the criminal case in Sweden against American rapper A$AP Rocky, as his new national security adviser.

Trump tweeted the announcement from California, where he was opening the third and final day of a West Coast fundraising swing.

Trump announced that O'Brien will become his fourth national security adviser a week after he ousted John Bolton, citing policy disagreements. O'Brien was among five candidates the Republican president had said Tuesday were being considered for the post, which does not require Senate confirmation.

As the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department, O'Brien worked closely with the families of American hostages and advised administration officials on hostage issues. He previously helped lead the department's public-private partnership for justice reform in Afghanistan during the Bush and Obama administrations.

Earlier this year, Trump dispatched O'Brien to Sweden to keep tabs on the criminal case there against A$AP Rocky, who a judge and jury ultimately found guilty of assault in August, several weeks after a street brawl in Stockholm that attracted Trump's attention.

Trump tried to intervene in the case by calling Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in July and offering to personally guarantee bail for the rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers. Lofven told Trump he couldn't interfere in a legal matter.

From 2008 through 2011, O'Brien was a presidentially appointed member of a government committee that advises on issues related to the trafficking of antiquities and other cultural items. In 2005, president George W Bush nominated O'Brien to be US Representative to the UN General Assembly, where he worked with Bolton. O'Brien was confirmed by the Senate.

He also was an adviser on the Republican presidential campaigns of former governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, former governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Earlier in his career, O'Brien was a senior legal officer for the UN Security Council commission that decided claims against Iraq that arose from the Gulf War. He was a major in the US Army Reserve.

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 international arbitration issues.

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