Tags: Trump Administration | national security adviser | john bolton

Inside Sources: Top 10 Candidates To Replace John Bolton

former national security adviser john bolton is shown
John Bolton (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 September 2019 11:50 AM

The job of national security adviser is so consequential that when Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul learned John Bolton would be leaving the White House, he breathed a sigh of relief and declared the chances of war had been “greatly diminished” by his departure.

Whether that’s either accurate or fair, Bolton’s departure means the spotlight will now turn to possible replacements. As a presidential adviser, Senate confirmation of President Donald Trump’s choice will not be required.

Based on media reports and Newsmax sources, here are 10 candidates at the top of Trump’s list:

Brian Hook, 61, U.S. Special Representative for Iran – One of Bolton’s big challenges, reportedly, was friction with other members of the National Security Council and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. As a senior policy adviser to Pompeo, that shouldn’t be an issue for Hook. A former D.C. attorney, he’s served in several high-level roles, including assistant secretary of state under the second President Bush.

Stephen E. Biegun, 56, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea – Anyone who can negotiate with Kim Jong Un is probably tough enough to run the NSC. CNN reports “three sources familiar with the discussions” say Biegun is a top candidate for the NSA post. A former Ford Motor Co. vice president, he is said to have a good rapport with both Pompeo and Trump.

Paula J. Dobriansky, 63, former Under Secretary of State – Dobriansky has extraordinary foreign policy credentials, having served in a variety of roles under five presidents of both parties, including undersecretary of state during the George W. Bush administration. She is a policy and national security “heavy weight” – having served on Reagan’s National Security Council for most of his two terms. Currently a professor at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, she was an early Trump supporter, breaking with the GOP establishment to endorse Trump in 2016 and appear with him at the Mayflower Hotel.

Fred Fleitz, 57, President, Center for Security Policy – Fleitz is a deep thinker who has received strong consideration for several top posts in the administration, including most recently as Director of National Security. He recently served in Trump’s West Wing as Bolton’s chief of staff of the National Security Council. He served for over two decades at the CIA and the State Department, and is a favorite of intelligence community insiders who see a dire need to reform America’s alphabet agencies in the aftermath of the feckless Russian-collusion probe.

Richard Grenell, 52, U.S. Ambassador to Germany – Second only to Trump, Grenell may be America’s most articulate advocate urging NATO partners to do more to provide for their own self-defense. Never shy of verbally jousting with cable news anchors – a quality Trump appreciates – Grenell has drawn plaudits from insiders who consider him an important foreign-policy asset for the president. Trump has given Grenell close consideration for several cabinet-level posts. His record longevity as U.S. spokesman at the UN speaks to his ability to navigate domestic political minefields while effectively defending U.S. policies abroad.

Pete Hoekstra, 65, U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands – Hoekstra is a smart, affable, and unapologetic defender of America’s global interests. As a Michigan congressman, he served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with Fleitz as a key adviser. His diplomatic service has drawn praise from the president and he’s an expert in U.S. national security.

Keith Kellogg, 75, U.S. Army Lt. General (ret.) – Kellogg served in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, and is highly decorated. He preceded Fred Fleitz as the chief of staff of the NSC under H.R. McMaster, and currently serves as the vice president’s National Security Advisor. Newsmax White House correspondent John Gizzi reports Kellogg is one of the oft-mentioned names said to be under serious consideration in the West Wing.

Ricky L. Waddell, 59, U.S. Army Major General and former Deputy National Security Adviser – Waddell is a familiar figure in the White House who is said to have West Wing support. A West Point graduate, he would continue President Trump’s penchant for appointing general officers to senior posts in his administration. Given his breadth of experience, including as assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Waddell would be well positioned to hit the ground running to advise Trump on what moves to make on the geopolitical chessboard.

Rob Blair, Assistant to the President and Adviser to the White House Chief of Staff – Blair came to the White House in January from the Office of Management and Budget, to serve under acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. If he gets the nod it will be viewed as a sign of Mulvaney’s rising influence.

Douglas A. Macgregor, retired U.S. Army Colonel – Macgregor is a high-profile advocate for getting out of Afghanistan, and a familiar face on conservative news programs. With several higher-ranking officers also vying for the post, his appointment might be seen as a stretch.

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The job of national security adviser is so consequential that when Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul learned John Bolton would be leaving the White House, he breathed a sigh of relief and declared the chances of war had been "greatly diminished" by his departure.
national security adviser, john bolton
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2019-50-11
Wednesday, 11 September 2019 11:50 AM
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