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Trump Taps Military Strategist As National Security Adviser

  • RFE/RL

U.S. President Donald Trump (right) announces his new national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 20.

U.S. President Donald Trump (right) announces his new national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 20.

U.S. President Donald Trump has tapped U.S. Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster as his new national security adviser, taking over the post left vacant after Michael Flynn's resignation.

Trump announced the pick on February 20 at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. Speaking to reporters, Trump called McMaster, an expert on counterinsurgency warfare, "a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience."

Flynn was forced to resign last week after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about discussions he had held with the Russian ambassador to the United States concerning U.S. sanctions on Moscow.

Trump has shown a preference for generals in the top security roles. McMaster, who wore his uniform for the announcement, joins Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, both retired generals.

McMaster, who called the appointment a "privilege," served in the first Gulf War, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Considered a scholarly officer, he holds a PhD in military history and is an author.

Trump says retired army Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg who had been his acting adviser, will now serve as the National Security Council chief of staff. He also said he would be asking John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to work with them in a "somewhat different capacity."

The president made the announcement from a luxurious living room, sitting on a couch between McMaster and Kellogg.

Trump brought four candidates for the position to Mar-a-Lago over the weekend for in-person interviews, McMaster among them.

The position of national security adviser does not require Senate confirmation.

Trump's first choice to replace Flynn, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, turned down the offer.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP
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