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Robert O'Brien Named National Security Adviser

The Primary: President Trump tweeted on Wednesday that Robert O’Brien will be the new national security adviser.

  • Who? What? Why?: O’Brien previously served as a hostage negotiator in the Trump administration. You may remember him as the man who helped negotiate A$AP Rocky's release after the rapper was arrested in Sweden.

  • The Baseline: O’Brien replaces John Bolton, who abruptly left his post (or got fired?) last week following disagreements with Trump over a variety of foreign policy moves, especially regarding Iran, North Korea and most recently, Trump’s efforts to sign a peace talk with the Taliban. However, don't expect O'Brien to sing 📷 a different tune. He's known to be just as hawkish as his predecessor, Bolton. In a recently published book, O'Brien compared Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran to the Munich Agreement that paved the way for Hitler. 

  • From the Left: Former National Security Council staffer Jonathan Stevenson of the Obama administration says that while former advisers may have had their opinions, for better or for worse, O’Brien’s quiet, “worker bee” approach will likely mean he will take a back seat on the Trump-Pompeo foreign policy roller coaster. 

  • From the Right: Tom Rogan of the Washington Examiner argues there are three good things and one bad thing about O’Brien. The good: he has Trump’s trust, is a civilian with solid foreign policy experience and “recognizes the importance of American leadership matched to effective alliances.” The bad: O’Brien’s recent touches with the limelight. "He'll quickly find himself out of favor if he says things that undercut Trump's stated position or policy priorities," Rogan adds.

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