Trump Hints Gen. Keith Kellogg 'Very Much In Play For NSA'
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg is the leading candidate to be the next National Security Advisor, U.S. President Donald Trump and the White House hinted Friday.
"General Keith Kellogg, who I have known for a long time, is very much in play for NSA - as are three others," Trump said on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told Fox News that the retired three-star general is "very much in contention."
Vice Admiral Robert Harward and former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus were also touted to the key security post, but the former reportedly turned down the position.
Gen. Kellogg has been acting as National Security Advisor after the resignation of Lt. General Michael Flynn Monday amid reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about a phone call with the Russian ambassador to U.S. Sergey Kislyak.
The conversations reportedly involved sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration, although Flynn has denied that sanctions were discussed. The controversy over the resignation of the top official in charge of the nation's security is still live on U.S. media and politics.
Taking questions from reporters in a hastily arranged news conference Thursday, Trump claimed that Flynn had done nothing wrong by communicating with Russian officials and suggested he was only asked to resign for misleading the Vice President.
Described by the White House as "extraordinarily talented," Kellogg is a decorated Army veteran who served on active duty from 1967 to 2003. He was Chief Operating Officer of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq after the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Kellogg has been serving as Chief of Staff of the National Security Council when he was picked by Trump as acting NSA.
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