Trump Names ASAP Rocky Hostage Negotiator to Replace John Bolton

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday named U.S. hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien as his choice to replace John Bolton as his national security adviser, making him the fourth person to hold the post in the Trump administration.

O’Brien, who has served as Trump’s special envoy for hostage affairs at the U.S. Department of State since May 2018, has a long history in Republican foreign policy circles.

“I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

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O’Brien is an attorney from Los Angeles who has served as a foreign policy adviser to several Republican presidential campaigns, handled a number of high profile legal cases and previously served in several State Department positions, including as an alternative representative to the U.N. General Assembly in 2005.

He was also instrumental to the release last month of ASAP Rocky, a rapper charged with assault in Sweden for a June 30 altercation with a man in Stockholm. The president sent O’Brien to Sweden to observe Rocky’s trial. In a letter addressed to the Swedish Prosecution Authority on July 31, O’Brien warned of “potentially negative consequences to the US-Swedish bilateral relationship,” if the matter was not resolved.

Rocky was found guilty of assault but avoided jail time and was released by Swedish authorities in early August.

Trump had been weighing a number of potential replacements after Bolton left the post last week following disagreements with the president over his handling of North Korea and Venezuela.

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His previous national security advisers were H.R. McMaster, who was replaced by Bolton in March 2018, and Michael Flynn, who was fired shortly after taking the role and later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Pluralist contributed to this report.

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