Who will replace Bolton as Trump’s national security adviser?

Trump says his shortlist includes, Ricky Waddell, Keith Kellogg, Robert O’Brien, Fred Fleitz and Lisa Gordon-Hagerty,

Trump Bolton
Trump meets and then-White House National Security Adviser John Bolton in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington [File: Carlos Barria/Reuters]

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the candidates he is considering to become his new national security adviser include former Deputy National Security Adviser Ricky Waddell, Vice President Mike Pence’s security aide Keith Kellogg, and hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien.

Speaking to reporters on board Air Force One, Trump said the other possible successors to John Bolton, the hawkish national security adviser he fired last week, were Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst and one-time aide to Bolton, and Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, undersecretary for nuclear security of the US Department of Energy.

The list shows that Trump is considering familiar faces within his administration.

Waddell was deputy White House national security adviser for a year when retired General HR McMaster had the top job, while Kellogg was executive secretary of the National Security Council until Bolton took over the office 17 months ago.

O’Brien has a long history in Republican foreign policy circles.


Fleitz, meanwhile, has a long history with Bolton, who was abruptly fired over his handling of North Korea and Venezuela. Fleitz served as Bolton’s chief of staff both on the Security Council and when Bolton was an official in the State Department under former President George W Bush. He worked at the Center for Security Policy, which is designated as a hate group by the Southern Policy Law Center watchdog group for its anti-Muslim rhetoric


Speaking to Breitbart in 2017, Fleitz said, that some Muslim communities in the US are “susceptible to this radical world view that wants to destroy modern society, create a global caliphate and impose sharia law on everyone on Earth”. 

Gordon-Hagerty has worked in the private sector and as a staff member in the US House of Representatives on security issues. She also served on the National Security Council and in other roles in the Energy Department addressing crisis management, emergency response and nuclear weapons

The list comes just over a week since Trump forced out Bolton, the president’s third security adviser, because of “strong” disagreements over multiple issues. 

It also comes as the US considers its response to Saturday’s attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies