Trump Names His Leading Five Candidates for Top Security Job

Jordan Fabian
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Trump Names His Leading Five Candidates for Top Security Job

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he’s considering five candidates for national security adviser to replace John Bolton, who left the White House abruptly last week.

Trump told reporters on Tuesday that candidates include Ricky Waddell, a former national security official in the Trump administration, and Robert C. O’Brien, a presidential envoy for hostage affairs.

Trump is also considering Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, the under secretary for nuclear security at the Energy Department and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The other candidates are retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, a national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, and Fred Fleitz, the president and chief executive officer for the Center for Security Policy and a former chief of staff for Bolton.

Trump ousted Bolton last week, saying he “strongly” disagreed with many of his positions. Bolton -- known for his hard-line approach to U.S. adversaries, including Iran, North Korea and Venezuela -- had also clashed repeatedly with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

The president is giving Pompeo a significant voice in choosing who will replace Bolton, people with knowledge of the matter have said. Pompeo has backed O’Brien and Waddell.

(Updates with additional candidates starting in third paragraph.)

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