President Donald Trump is looking to make a decision to fill the position of national security adviser in a few days, following the resignation of Michael Flynn, he told reporters Saturday. Trump will interview four candidates in this regard Sunday, he added.
Flynn was forced to step down from the position after it emerged he had discussed the country’s sanctions on Russia with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., before President Trump took office. The retired general also allegedly misled Vice President Mike Pence about his interactions with the Russian ambassador.
Trump’s first choice to replace Flynn, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, turned down the offer Thursday. The former Navy SEAL told the Associated Press he refused the position for “purely a personal reason.”
Former CIA chief David Petraeus was also ruled out as a candidate for the position. The retired general resigned as head of the CIA in 2012 and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information relating to documents he had provided to his biographer, who he was having an affair with.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the president will interview the four candidates and may even add a few more names to the list.
Here are the four candidates currently under consideration by Trump:
The first name on the list is the current acting national security adviser, retired Army Gen. Keith Kellogg, who has significant military experience. The 72-year-old did two tours in Vietnam and was the recipient of a number of commendations, including the Bronze Star.
Trump confirmed that Kellogg was in the running for the position. The president tweeted Friday that Kellogg, “who I have known for a long time, is very much in play for NSA — as are three others.”
The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is a veteran of the George W. Bush administration. His vast diplomatic experience could provide much-needed credibility to the position Trump is looking to fill, especially after the Flynn debacle.
“The one thing that makes Bolton more qualified than anyone else for the Trump era is that he has a veteran genius-level understanding of the organizational structure of our nation’s diplomatic and intelligence apparatus,” a foreign policy insider told the Free Beacon.
Lieutenant General Robert Caslen
Caslen is the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The West Point graduate, who served in the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq, was in the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2011. He played a role in the search for survivors in the damaged parts of the building, reports say.
Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster
McMaster is another candidate for the position of Trump’s national security advisor. The Ph.D. holder is reportedly a great tactician and strategic thinker, known for commanding a troop of the U.S. 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in 1991. In what is considered as one of the biggest tank battles since World War II, he led his troops at 73 Easting to destroy the larger Iraqi Republican Guard force.