Trump names HR McMaster as new national security adviser

McMaster is a highly regarded military tactician and strategic thinker but his selection surprised some observers who wondered how McMaster, who is known for questioning authority, would deal with a White House that has not welcomed criticism. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION District of Columbia, United States Feb 20, 2017, 09.12 PM (IST)

US President Donald Trump on Monday appointed lieutenant general Herbert Raymond McMaster as his new national security adviser, once again turning to the US military to play a central role on his foreign policy team.

"He is highly respected by everybody in the military and we're very honoured to have him," Trump said, Reuters reported.

Trump also picked Keith Kellogg, a retired US Army general, who was till now serving as the acting national security adviser, as chief of staff to the National Security Council.

Calling Kellogg a “terrific man” Trump said that McMaster and Kellogg are a "very, very special" combination.

Trump spent the weekend considering his options for replacing Flynn after his first choice, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, turned down the job last week
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McMaster is known to be a highly regarded military tactician and strategic thinker.

But Trump’s pick has come as a surprise to some who wondered how McMaster, who is known for questioning authority, would deal with a White House that has not been open to criticism so far.

McMaster replaced Michael Flynn who was fired as national security adviser on February 13 after reports surfaced that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about speaking to Russia's ambassador about US sanctions before Trump's inauguration.

The early ouster came as a setback for a White House that has been hit by miscues, including the controversial rollout of the travel ban.

Trump spent the weekend considering his options for replacing Flynn after his first choice, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, turned down the job last week.

54-year-old McMaster is a West Point graduate with a PhD in US history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He was in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in 2014, partly because of his willingness to buck the system.

(WION with inputs from Reuters)