1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Trump taps hostage negotiator as security director

September 18, 2019

The US' chief hostage negotiator is Trump's pick to replace John Bolton as national security adviser. The lawyer Robert O'Brien has a history of foreign policy consultancy.

Robert C. O'Brien in Stockholm
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/TT NYHETSBYRÅN/F. Presson

US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday he had chosen Robert C. O'Brien to be the new national security director.

O'Brien would replace neo-conservative hawk John Bolton, who was fired earlier this month, with Trump citing disagreements over his handling of events in Venezuela and North Korea.

If confirmed, he will be the fourth person to hold the position in the Trump administration. 

O’Brien is an attorney from Los Angeles who currently serves as the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department. He previously worked as a foreign policy adviser for several Republican presidential campaigns and has worked in other roles for the US State Department.  

Earlier in his career, O'Brien worked for a United Nations Security Council commission that decided claims against Iraq that arose from the Gulf War, and he was also a major in the US Army Reserve.

He wrote a book on foreign policy in 2016 that was cited as providing a guide to the likely foreign policy goals of the Trump administration.

aw/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.