Donald Trump appoints new national security adviser

General HR McMaster is Donald Trump's new national security adviser.

General HR McMaster is Donald Trump's new national security adviser. Photo: US Army

President Donald Trump has announced General HR McMaster as his new national security adviser.

General McMaster’s predecessor, Michael Flynn, was forced to resign after lying to the White House about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the US.

Mr Trump said the acting national security adviser, John Bolton, will serve his administration in another capacity.

“He’s a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience,” the President said as he introduced General McMaster to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago getaway in Floridawhere he has been interviewing candidates to replace Mr Flynn.

“He is highly respected by everyone in the military, and we’re very honoured to have him.”

Mr Trump said Retired Army Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, who has been serving as acting national security adviser, will become the National Security Council chief of staff, Trump said.

“I think that combination is something very, very special,” Trump said of McMaster and Kellogg, later adding: “What a team. This is a great team.”

The Washington Post reported that in brief remarks Monday, General McMaster said it would be “a privilege” to continue to serve the nation. 

“I look forward to joining the national security team and doing everything that I can to advance and protect the interests of the American people,” he was quoted as saying.

The appointment continues the President’s reliance on high-ranking military officers to advise him on national security.

Mr. Flynn was a retired three-star general and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis is a retired four-star general.

Retired Navy Vice Admiral Robert Harward, Mr Trump’s first choice to replace Mr Flynn, rejected the offer. Two other frontrunners were current or former senior military officers.

Shortly before announcing the appointment, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter: “Meeting with Generals at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. Very interesting!”

He then took the unusual step of deleting that tweet and replacing it with news of McMaster’s acceptance.

General McMaster is seen as one of the Army’s leading intellectuals, first making a name for himself with a searing critique of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for their performance during the Vietnam War and later criticising the way President George W. Bush’s administration went to war in Iraq, The New York Times reported.

“As a commander, he was credited with demonstrating how a different counterterrorism strategy could defeat insurgents in Iraq, providing the basis for the change in approach that Gen. David H. Petraeus adopted to shift momentum in a war that the United States was on the verge of losing,” it said.

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