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Donald Trump

Trump to interview national security adviser finalists

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 February, 2017, 11:28am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 February, 2017, 10:27pm

President Donald Trump will interview at least four candidates on Sunday to head his National Security Council, including the superintendent of the West Point military academy, as he seeks to stabilise his team after the forced resignation of Michael Flynn.

Lieutenant General Robert Caslen, superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point; Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster; former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton; and retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, the acting national security adviser, will speak with Trump, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.

A couple of other contenders might be interviewed as well, Spicer said. One of the dark horse candidates is said to be retired General Raymond Odierno, a former Army chief of staff.

The meetings will take place at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where the president is spending a third consecutive weekend. Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he was “leaning toward” one of the men he’ll interview on Sunday and that a decision was likely within the next couple of days.

Flynn resigned on February 13 following revelations he misled administration officials over his contact with a Russian envoy before Trump’s inauguration.

Trump’s initial choice for a replacement, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, the chief executive of Lockheed Martin United Arab Emirates, informed the president on Thursday that he wouldn’t take the job, according to two administration officials who requested anonymity because the offer wasn’t made public.

Another potential pick, former CIA director David Petraeus, is no longer under consideration, Spicer said.

On Sunday, the president plans to discuss strategy for replacing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget.