Speculation Mounts Over Who Trump Will Pick To Replace Hawkish Bolton

White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in Washington, DC, on March 15, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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September 11, 2019 9:38 a.m.
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Will Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster get his old job back?

After President Trump abruptly fired National Security Adviser John Bolton in a tweet on Tuesday, speculation has grown over who the President will tap to take over the crucial position left void in Bolton’s interventionist wake. The White House announced Tuesday that Trump had asked Bolton’s deputy Charles Kupperman to serve on an interim basis, but he said he’d appoint a replacement as early as next week.

In conversations with President Trump allies and former officials, the New York Times compiled a list of possible replacements the White House may consider, including the former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who reportedly had a less than amicable relationship with Trump during his tenure.

Here’s the New York Times running list of possible successors:

— Kupperman, who, according to the Times, often delivered longterm strategy security briefings to Trump because the President preferred his style over Bolton’s.

— Stephen Biegun, who has been at the center of Trump’s efforts to denuclearize North Korea. Biegun has reportedly favored Trump’s diplomatic approach to dealing with regime leader Kim Jong-un over Bolton’s hardline stance.

— Brian Hook, the special representative to Iran, whose strategy with the Middle Eastern nation Trump has expressed an appreciation for, according to the Times.

— Douglas Macgregor, the retired Army colonel and Fox News contributor who was a guest on Tucker Carlson’s show the night Trump reportedly decided not to strike Iran at Carlson’s urging.

— Richard Grenell, the openly gay American ambassador to Germany who’s led the charge to globally decriminalize homosexuality and who has repeatedly been considered for high-profile gigs, like U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

— McMaster, the ex-national security adviser.¬†While a person familiar with Trump’s relationship with McMaster told the Times the chances of an appointment were “less than zero,” Trump has reportedly called McMaster at least once since he left the administration to discuss a national security issue.

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