During an impromptu press conference at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump introduced Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster as his new National Security Adviser to replace Michael Flynn. The announcement came six days after Flynn resigned after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador before Trump’s inauguration.
Trump named McMaster his new NSA with his interim NSA, Keith Kellogg, sitting right beside him. Kellogg was considered one of the candidates to replace Flynn on a full-time basis.
“I just wanted to announce, we’ve been working all weekend very diligently … that Gen. H.R. McMaster will become the national security advisor. He’s a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience. I watched and read a lot over the last two days. He is highly respected by everyone in the military and we’re very honored to have him,” Trump said. “He also has known for a long time, Keith Kellogg, who I also have gotten to know this terrific man. They will be working together. And Keith is going to be chief of staff. And I think that combination is something very, very special.”
Trump also confirmed that he met with John Bolton about the role before ultimately choosing McMaster.
Before being named the new NSA, McMaster was the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and Deputy Commanding General, Futures at U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. His job at TRADOC required him to predict the future of warfare and determine how prepared the U.S. Army is for another war compared to its adversaries.
“President, thank you very much. I would just like to say what a privilege it is to be able to continue serving our nation. I’m grateful to you for that opportunity, and 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. Thank you very much,” McMaster said in a brief statement.
McMaster is also a veteran of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq wars.