One day after US National Security Advisor John Bolton’s departure, administration officials are discussing the possibility of giving the job to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a long-term opponent, CNN reported Wednesday, citing sources close to the talks.
An additional title would not free Pompeo of his responsibilities as Secretary of State, and he would be the second person to have both jobs at the same time – the first being Henry Kissinger during Richard Nixon’s administration.
It is unclear whether Pompeo is on Trump’s short list of Bolton replacement candidates, as the president only hinted he has “five people that [he considers] very highly qualified, good people.”
Even if Pompeo’s candidacy is not on the table, he will act as de-facto National Security Advisor until a permanent replacement is found, the source told CNN.
The source also speculated that the “Kissinger model” could make Pompeo far too powerful within the Trump administration.
According to the CNN source, top contenders are Brian Hook, US special representative for Iran (and senior policy adviser to Pompeo), and Steve Biegun, special envoy to North Korea. The two are equally unlikely to challenge Trump on his diplomatic deal-making methods.