WASHINGTON (CN) — President Trump on Wednesday said he will appoint a State Department envoy as his new national security adviser, after John Bolton’s departure from the White House last week.
Robert O’Brien works as special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, leading an office that heads up the government’s efforts on hostages held in other countries. He was a representative to the U.N. General Assembly during the George W. Bush administration, working with Bolton, who at the time was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
“I have worked long & hard with Robert,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. “He will do a great job!”
A foreign policy and national security adviser on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, O’Brien also spent time in the State Department during the Bush and Obama administrations as co-chair of an initiative that trained Afghan prosecutors and defense attorneys.
Though he will join Trump’s team, he advised on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s bid for the Republican nomination in 2016.
Trump ousted Bolton last week, saying in a tweet that he “strongly disagreed” with advice Bolton gave while in the job. Bolton replied that he was not fired; he resigned.
In a review of O’Brien’s 2016 book “While America Slept” in Foreign Policy magazine, Daniel Runde, who served at the U.S. Agency for International Development during the George W. Bush administration, said O’Brien’s view of foreign policy includes a belief “that peace comes through strength” and in the United States having good relationships with allies.
“His books warns of the dangers of a hollow military force, especially a numerically short navy, the dangers posed by a resurgent China, and the dangers of Islamic extremism,” Runde wrote. “The next administration should take heed.”