Trump Holds Interviews For Security Adviser To Replace Flynn

US President Donald Trump is interviewing candidates for the position of national security adviser.

He has selected four candidates: adviser Keith Kellogg; former UN ambassador John Bolton; Lt Gen H R McMaster; and Lt Gen Robert Caslen.

The role became vacant when Lt Gen Michael Flynn was fired after just three weeks and three days in the job.

Mr Trump’s first choice, Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, turned down the role, citing “personal reasons”.

Gen Flynn stepped down after misleading Vice-President Mike Pence over his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the US.

When asked about speculation that he was not allowed to bring his own staff at the National Security Council, Mr Harward told the Associated Press: “I think that’s for the president to address.”

Retired general and former CIA chief David Petraeus is also no longer a candidate, Mr Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer said on Saturday.

Mr Petraeus retired as CIA director in 2012 after it emerged he had given top-secret material to his biographer, with whom he was also having an extramarital affair.

Who is in the running?

Keith Kellogg, a retired three-star lieutenant general who became a security consultant for software giant Oracle Corp, and has been acting national security adviser for the past week.

H. R. McMaster, a lieutenant general with the Army who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he worked on a government anti-corruption drive.

Robert Caslen, an Army lieutenant general who is the superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point.

John Bolton is a career diplomat and lawyer rather than a military man, and served as George W Bush’s hawkish ambassador to the United Nations from August 2006 to December 2006.

President Trump deflected accusations that he was struggling to find a replacement for Gen Flynn, telling reporters on Air Force One on Saturday that he had “many, many that want the job”.

The president is spending the weekend at his properties in Florida for the third week in a row. He has called his Florida Mar-a-Lago club the “Southern White House”.

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