As Donald Trump begins to assemble his national security team, Newsmax has learned that Rep. Peter King, R.-NY, is being discussed as the President-elect's Homeland Security adviser.
The former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, King is considered one of the most respected experts in Congress on the issue of terrorism and homeland security issues.
Reached at the U.S. Capitol late Wednesday afternoon, King told us he "had heard rumors about this appointment, but I don't expect it to be offered."
"My obsession is with the issues of terrorism and security, but I think I can do more on those issues in Congress," he said.
King, a suburban Republican Congressmen from Long Island, is a long-time friend of Trump’s who had been an early primary supporter.
"Pete would be awesome in that job!" former House Intelligence Committee Peter Hoekstra, R.-Mich., told Newsmax on Wednesday.
Hoekstra, who came to Congress with King in 1992, added that the New Yorker "is one of most knowledgeable people in Congress on what threatens Americans."
The position of Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism within the White House was created in 2001 and is equivalent to that National Security Advisor. The position helped the president coordinate security policies with the Homeland Security department, as well as the Defense Department, CIA and other agencies.
Current Assistant Lisa Monaco oversees a Homeland Security Council (HSC) that assesses risks to the U.S. and makes recommendations to the President for security policy.
Because of his background overseeing Homeland Security and related issues in the House, King has been talked about for the job by present and former colleagues as well as some friends of the President-elect.
The veteran lawmaker shares Trump’s hard-line on security issues, ranging from monitoring immigrants from terrorist nations to continuance of the Patriot Act.
At the same time, he has worked closely with Obama Administration officials such as former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and former CIA Director David Petraeus in formulating a counterterrorism agenda.
Sources close to the Trump transition say King has not been campaigning for the position, but has been discussed because of his “incredible credentials,” his ability to work with Democrats, and most importantly, as one source put it bluntly, “Donald likes the guy.”
Asked if he would accept the White House slot if it is offered to him by the President-elect, King replied, “I certainly will look at it.”
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