Trump Taps National Security Advisor

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U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with his new National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster after making the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida U.S. February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

By Jeff Mason and Patricia Zengerle

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla./WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday named Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond McMaster as his new national security adviser, again turning to the U.S. military to play a central role on his foreign policy team.

McMaster is a highly regarded military tactician and strategic thinker, but his selection surprised some observers who wondered how the officer, who is known for questioning authority, would deal with a White House that has not welcomed criticism.

“He is highly respected by everybody in the military and we’re very honored to have him,” Trump told reporters in West Palm Beach where he spent the weekend. “He’s a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.”

McMaster replaces a Trump loyalist. Michael Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, was fired as national security adviser on Feb. 13 after reports emerged he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about speaking to Russia’s ambassador about U.S. sanctions before Trump’s inauguration.