President Trump has picked Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to be his new national security adviser, filling a key vacancy left by the ouster of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The president called McMaster, a career Army officer, “a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.”
Trump made the announcement Monday at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., where he had been interviewing a number of candidates for the job.
His decision comes one week after he dismissed Flynn for misleading Vice President Pence and others about whether he discussed U.S. sanctions with Russia’s ambassador during the transition.
Responding to a shouted question from a reporter, Trump said Pence had a role in making the pick.
“I think that combination is very, very special,” Trump told reporters while seated between the two men on a sofa.
McMaster, 54, is a well-known military strategist who authored a book that criticized U.S. decision-making during the Vietnam War.
He led a cavalry regiment that retook the city of Tal Afar from al-Qaeda insurgents during the Iraq War, an operation that garnered national attention.
McMaster has been an outspoken proponent of retooling the armed forces to address modern threats such as cyber warfare.
“I’m grateful to you for that opportunity, and I look forward to joining the national security team and doing everything that I can to advance and protect the interests of the American people,” McMaster told Trump.
Trump’s selection of McMaster will please national security-focused Republicans, who long voiced concern about Flynn over his ties to Russia and his numerous clashes with the intelligence community.
Sen. John McCainJohn McCainMeghan McCain: Obama 'a dirty capitalist like the rest of us' Top commander: Don't bet on China reining in North Korea Trudeau, Trump speak for second night about US-Canada trade MORE (R-Ariz.), a frequent Trump critic, called McMaster "an outstanding choice for national security adviser."
“He is a man of genuine intellect, character and ability. I give President Trump great credit for this decision," said McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The post of national security adviser is one of the top jobs at the White House; the aide is tasked with coordinating the president’s foreign policy initiatives and military objectives across federal agencies.
Hope you will be able to choose your team, have direct reporting and daily access to POTUS, and can eliminate Strategic Initiatives Group. https://t.co/QK6SE0KlY0— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) February 21, 2017
Updated 4:13 p.m.