O’Brien himself has been mum in public on the subject. But his journey as national security adviser has included the primary slate of early presidents, including Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada – an unusual combination for anyone in his position. And one of O’Brien’s Republican friends said the trips had “expanded” his interest in the presidency.
President-elect Joe Biden reflects the tumult that has been raging like everyone else who has a link to Trump’s supremacy since taking office in January. Trump himself has privately made a comeback in 2024, but numerous orbital figures from his orbit – from Vice President Mike Pence to Donald Trump Jr., former US Ambassador to the United Nations – Nikki Haley – are regularly presented as the next standard of GOP Is. Holder.
While Trump’s political neophytes like O’Brien were shown in the 2016s, this conversation can’t be completely stopped, the reality was his celebrity adopting the least attitude in the TV star. It’s not clear what O’Brien’s angle will be.
“It’s not terribly well known – I don’t know of any geographical or ideological base in the party,” said Michael Steele, a former communicator supporting both the late Republican president Jeb Bush and former Republican House Speaker John Boehner. “If he participates as heir to President Trump’s national security legacy, I believe there will be other candidates like Vice President or former Ambassador Haley, who would be in a better position to do this. I just don’t know what his lane will be. “
“Running as an outsider is one thing. It’s very difficult to run as an anonymous person, “said Republican Haye, a former Republican National Committee communications director. “What comes out when a person has a zero name ID? In politics, you never say no, but you often say that this is very difficult to do. “
Some G.O.P. Strategists who know O’Brien are skeptical. “While his service is commendable, his other personal characteristics will not translate well to becoming president or winning the primary campaign,” said a GOP strategist who declined to speak on the record in order not to damage his relationship with O. Brian.
O’Brien declined to comment on the report’s record.
O’Brien, 54, is a lawyer by trade, but has long returned to Republican and national security circles. George W. During the Bush administration, after being appointed an alternate representative to the UN, he co-chaired the State Department initiative. Meaning To use public-private partnerships to promote the rule of law in Afghanistan – a role he continued in the Obama era.
O’Brien has also dominated presidential politics, serving as a foreign adviser to three Republican candidates in 2012 – Mitt Romney and Scott Waker and Ted Cruz – in 2016.
In 2018, O’Brien came to the Trump administration as the president’s special envoy for hostage affairs. While the president strongly encouraged efforts to free Americans such as Pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey and rapper ASAP Rocky in Sweden, O’Brien began to attract the attention of some. He was installed as Trump’s national security adviser the year after John Bolton’s ouster from the White House.
O’Brien brought a much lower profile to the National Security Council than his ancestors.
Unlike O’Brien, Bolton was a well-known foreign policy firebrand who worked in the Bush administration and has been appearing on Fox News for years. Before Bolton, H.R. McCamaster took a job as a well-known military strategist who led the cavalry during the Iraq war and wrote a famous book criticizing the military’s conduct of the Vietnam War. And Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was the household name for drawing him to “lock up” during Trump’s campaign rally and during a rally against former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.
O’Brien’s arrival was seen as an opportunity to bring in someone who would quietly support the president’s agenda – which he did.
He downgraded the NSC staff and focused the council’s attention on China. He defended the president’s move to withdraw troops from military bases in places like Germany, which was opposed by national security giants through several attempts. And he publicly supported the president’s controversial decision to assassinate Qasim Soleimani, the head of the powerful Iranian military department responsible for many of Tehran’s courts and covert military operations.
And he always took that support on television, where O’Brien is confident in the administration to be featured on network news shows and popular cable programs on Sunday morning to curb the administration’s policies.
Yet O’Brien has used his perch to review several states for the early stages of presidential primaries. And in the Nov. election, O’Brien traveled to presidential swing states such as Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada and Wisconsin, getting heavily involved in the political process supporting national security – traditionally the region. Limits closed to current foreign policy officials.
There is some evidence that O’Brien used these trips to enhance his political knowledge. During a September trip to Iowa to speak at Drake University, O’Brien asked a local political adviser to briefly give “a piece of land” about the state’s political situation, the adviser says.
During his travels, O’Brien has received a variety of events, many said to have been attended or discussed by those who attended his events.
The Republican friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe O’Brien’s trip, said the national security assistant had encountered some people who told him “it could be interesting four years from now.” But the other look is just ho-hum. And during a trip to Lake Salt Lake City in October to speak at a symposium on global peace and stability, O’Brien stopped by at least one participant during a meeting with local faith leaders.
O’Brien, the top-ranking Mormon member of the Trump administration, convened a meeting with local representatives from the Episcopal, Catholic, Greek orthodox, Baptist, Jewish, and Muslim congregations to discuss the administration’s work on religious freedom.
But as O’Brien began assuring the group that the president was committed to religious tolerance and fellowship of all faith communities, he received pressure from Rabbi Sam Specter, who attended the meeting. Specter pressed O’Brien to explain how the Trump administration could claim a cover of religious tolerance when the president asked the U.S. to remove him from numerous Muslim-majority countries. Forced to ban visitors and repeatedly slowed down in condemning white supremacy.
“He didn’t acknowledge any of my concerns and instead just started saying that what I said was wrong and misrepresented the facts,” Specter said, dismissing O’Brien as stunned.
Internally, O’Brien also faced pushback from several teammates, including a whistleblower. Complaint N.S.C. From Alexander Windman’s twin brother Yevgeny Windman, a senior moral officer and witness to the impeachment. The complaint alleges both misuse of government resources and “undermining sexual behavior” – a claim the White House vehemently denied.
Still, people around O’Brien insist he has a behavior that can play well with voters, noting that there is also an advantage attached to Trump’s national security platform, which is popular at the presidential base.
“I think he will campaign for American strength, strong families and communities, a strong economy and a strong national security,” said Republican friend O’Brien, calling him “super-likable.”
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who knows O’Brien well, argued that the national security adviser would be “a very strong contender” and a “very credible presidential candidate” if he chose to enter.
“Robert O’Brien is one of the most powerful people in Washington, yet he doesn’t have as much influence as he should.” “You don’t see his name on the first page of the paper a lot, but whenever you see his name, it’s connected to something very important.”
O’Brien, his friends argued, could be claimed to be a political outsider in advancing the Republican Party in the new pay generation, and never held elected office. And, perhaps most importantly, O’Brien can claim a good relationship with Trump, they added – the main difference in any fight to handle the GOP base.
“Trump loves O’Brien, and in every other conversation where O’Brien comes in, he’ll say, ‘This guy is out of the middle casting, he’s beautiful, his wife’s beautiful.'” Lee said.
However, national security advisers do not have a long history of entering politics. Some, such as Susan Rice, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Henry Kissinger, later reached cabinet positions or served as presidential or vice presidential candidates. But no one has entered the presidential primary.
Republican strategist Haye O’Brien reiterated his skepticism about the possibility of a leap.
“There has to be a compelling reason why you are running and why you should be, as opposed to everyone else running.”
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