WASHINGTON—President Trump named Robert C. O’Brien as his new national security adviser, picking a top hostage-affairs official for the high-profile White House role.
Mr. Trump tweeted the announcement Wednesday morning, writing “I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!”Donald J. Trump
I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O’Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor. I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!
Mr. O’Brien takes the job just as Mr. Trump faces a number of foreign-policy challenges, particularly as the administration determines how to respond to the recent attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, which U.S. officials have blamed on Iran. The new national security adviser will also take a leading role on addressing the crisis in Venezuela, as well as the president’s efforts to get North Korea to denuclearize.
Most recently, Mr. O’Brien was sent to Sweden to help negotiate the release of rapper A$AP Rocky, who was arrested after a violent altercation in Stockholm this summer. Mr. Trump had raised concern publicly over the rapper’s fate and Mr. O’Brien was sent to see what he could do. The rapper was later found guiltyby a Swedish court, but won’t serve jail time.
The national security adviser post, which doesn’t require Senate confirmation, heads up a staff of several hundred specialists—or detailees, as they are known—from the Pentagon, State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies.