U.S. President Donald Trump picked U.S. hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien on Wednesday as his fourth White House national security adviser, turning to a low-key choice for the position after the boisterous tenure of John Bolton.
Trump gave Pompeo a significant say in choosing the next national security adviser - a position that doesn't require Senate confirmation - after the secretary of state repeatedly clashed with Bolton. "He will do a great job!"
The announcement of O'Brien's selection comes a week after the Republican president ousted John Bolton from the national security adviser's post, citing policy disagreements.
Mr O'Brien is a corporate lawyer in Los Angeles, former United Nations official and former official in the George W Bush administration who write a book in 2016 titled While America Slept: Restoring American Leadership to a World in Crisis.
O'Brien, U.S. Special Envoy Ambassador, centre, arrives at the district court where United States rapper A$AP Rocky is to appear on charges of assault, in Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday July 30, 2019. As the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, he has doggedly pursued the release of American hostages overseas.
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He was selected after having collaborated with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on a number of hostage situations.
Aides expected an announcement because acting national security adviser Charlie Kupperman, who took over in Bolton's absence, was not scheduled to travel to NY for next week's meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
The White House later insisted the quote had come from O'Brien, who had said Trump had "unparalleled success" in bringing home hostages.
O'Brien's commentary on Trump during the 2016 election, when he advised the campaigns of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen.
The law firm also states that O'Brien has worked on several high profile entertainment cases and represented A-list celebrities in intellectual property rights cases. "Iran sadly continues this uncivilized and unethical conduct even today", O'Brien wrote in an editorial published by the Los Angeles-based foreign policy organisation Pacific Council on International Policy where O'Brien is a member. He was a major in the U.S. Army Reserve. O' Brien has a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and co-founded a law firm in Los Angeles focused on litigation and worldwide arbitration issues.