United States President Donald Trump on Monday picked Lieutenant General HR McMaster as the country’s new national security adviser, just one week after former NSA Michael Flynn resigned because of his alleged connections to Russia. Announcing the decision at his club in Florida’s Palm Beach, Trump called McMaster, “a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience”, AP reported.
Trump further said that acting NSA retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg would now serve as the chief of staff on the country’s National Security Council. McMaster, who will remain on active military duty as well, said he would do “everything I can to advance and protect the interests of the American people”.
The move further increases the influence of military commanders on the country’s national and foreign policy. McMaster, who is the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, also commanded troops in Iraq during US campaigns there in 1991 and 2005-2006. He has also written a book, Dereliction of Duty, on the government’s handling of the Vietnam War and the “lies that led to Vietnam”.
McMaster was Trump’s second choice after retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, who declined the offer. Flynn, who resigned on February 13, had told Vice President Mike Pence that he had not discussed lifting US sanctions with Russia. However, it was later found that the matter had, in fact, come up in Flynn’s conversation with the Kremlin. “Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador,” Flynn had said.