President Trump announced his 5 potential finalists for National Security Adviser to reporters aboard Air Force 1.
Trump named attorney and U.S. hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien, assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ricky Waddell, Energy Department nuclear security expert Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, former National Security Council chief of staff Fred Fleitz, and retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who currently advises Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump implicitly ruled out leading contenders with large bases of support, including retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, a favorite of noninterventionists, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, and U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook.
Trump's comments reflect his current thinking, but he has been known to change his mind frequently during the process of considering staff hires.
O'Brien, who has a strong personal rapport with Trump, recently has appeared to emerge as a front-runner, according to two sources close to the White House. Many insiders are unfamiliar with his policy leanings, however, and some suspect that Trump would not want to gamble after coming to regret the selection of early administration figures.