President Trump named his chief hostage negotiator as his national security adviser Wednesday, filling the role for a fourth time as he plots a stern response to Iran’s suspected role in attacking Saudi oil fields last weekend. Robert C. O’Brien will replace John R. Bolton, who was ousted last week amid clashes with key White House aides and Mr. Trump on topics such as Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. As the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, Mr. O’Brien endeared himself to Mr. Trump by working to secure the release of pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey and Americans held in Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen. He also spoke to Sweden about rapper A$AP Rocky’s legal troubles after an incident in Stockholm. “He did a tremendous job on hostage negotiations. Really tremendous, like unparalleled. We’ve had tremendous success in that regard,” Mr. Trump told White House reporters traveling with him in California. “I think we have a very good chemistry together, and I think we’re going to have a great relationship. He is a very talented man.” Mr. O’Brien, who accompanied Mr. Trump, called it a privilege to serve with the president. “We’ve got a number of challenges,” he said, “but there’s a great team in place.” The president is promoting Mr. O’Brien as he weighs a response to Iran’s suspected role in drone attacks Saturday that temporarily shut down half of the Saudi oil production. “We’ll see what happens. We have many options that we’re considering. There are many options,” Mr. Trump said. Mr. Trump heads to New York for the U.N. General Assembly session next week, meaning Mr. O’Brien could have an immediate impact. The national security adviser does not have to be confirmed by the Senate. “Robert’s a very experienced foreign policy figure with deep knowledge of United Nations, international organizations,” said Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation. He worked alongside Mr. O’Brien on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential bid. “He’s a safe pair of hands,” Mr. Gardiner said. “He’s somebody who I think has very good instincts, a very good understanding of the challenges facing the United States as leader of the free world.” Mr. O’Brien worked under President George W. Bush as a representative to the U.N., continuing in Mr. Bolton’s footsteps as a Trump official with connections to the last Republican administration. Mr. Trump has grown tired of Bush veterans. Besides Mr. Bolton, his aides included Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who sparred with Mr. Trump over immigration before her ouster. Mr. Bolton fought with top administration officials, but Mr. O’Brien is viewed as a team player. Mr. Trump, who bills himself as a deal-maker, was impressed by his track record as a negotiator. Mr. O’Brien has been “incredibly effective as the ambassador for these hostage negotiations,” said Kenneth R. Weinstein, president of the Hudson Institute. “He’s someone who has gone in, under the radar, and handles sensitive negotiations in a low-key manner.” Mr. Trump hailed Mr. O’Brien from the Oval Office in March during a welcome-home ceremony for Danny Burch, an oil worker held in Yemen for 18 months. In turn, Mr. O’Brien praised Mr. Trump for working to bring home Americans through “force of will,” without concessions or payments. Mr. O’Brien wrote a book in 2016, “While America Slept,” that was critical of President Obama’s 2015 nuclear pact with Iran and compared it to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler at Munich in 1938. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who wants a muscular approach to Iran, said Mr. O’Brien is a good choice who will keep Mr. Trump on the right path. “He understands the world for the dangerous place it is. He’s got great negotiating skills as our hostage negotiator,” Mr. Graham said. “I think he will be a very sound policy adviser to the president of the United States.” Mr. O’Brien will be the president’s fourth national security adviser in less than three years.
While Mr. O’Brien’s credentials as a hostage negotiator, and accomplished attorney, are very solid, we do have some reservations about him taking on this new role as the President’s National Security Adviser. Mr. O’Brien’s only military background was in the Army Reserves as a JAG officer (military lawyer). So, not exactly much in the way of a national security background. Raised Catholic, he converted to Mormonism in his twenties, and with this new appointment is the highest ranking Later Day Saint in our federal government. We wish Mr. O’Brien all the best in this extremely important role.
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden either called for the banning of most handguns or displayed basic misunderstanding of the simplest of firearms terminology. Campaigning Monday in Iowa, Mr. Biden demanded the elimination of “magazines that can hold multiple bullets in them,” calling such a ban so obvious that only ill motive could explain it. “The idea that we don’t have elimination of assault-type weapons, magazines that can hold multiple bullets in them is absolutely mindless. It is no violation of the 2nd Amendment. It’s just a bow to the special interests of the gun manufacturers and the NRA,” he said at a Labor Day picnic in Cedar Rapids. The phrase “magazines that can hold multiple bullets” raised eyebrows, though. Ryan Saavedra of the Daily Wire explained why, while posting the clip. “Joe Biden makes the most extreme gun-control push of all the 2020 Democrat presidential candidates: Biden calls for banning ‘magazines that can hold multiple bullets in them.’ All magazines hold ‘multiple bullets,’ that’s the point. This call from Biden would ban most handguns,” Mr. Saavedra wrote. With the exception of old-fashioned revolvers, whose basic design concept has remained unchanged since the six-shooters of the Old West, modern-design handguns store multiple bullets in magazines.
Crazy ol’ Joe is the gift that keeps on giving.. Honestly, he’s not firing on all thrusters these days, and really should just retire. He’s trying hard to pander to his liberal constituency during this primary season, and in the process making verbal gaffes like this on an almost daily basis. Even his handlers are getting frustrated trying to get him to stay on script. We just hope Joe continues to run his mouth and say things like this. 🙂
A pair of Christian artists can’t be forced by the city government of Phoenix to make invitations for same-sex marriages, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday. Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, the owners of Brush & Nib Studio, were accused of violating a local anti-discrimination ordinance. Monday’s 4-3 decision reversed a lower-court ruling that favored the city. “An individual has autonomy over his or her speech and thus may not be forced to speak a message he or she does not wish to say,” the court’s majority decision read. Duka, a calligrapher, and Koski, a painter, were threatened with six months jail time and $2,500 in fines for every day they were in violation of the ordinance. They are now celebrating their judicial victory as “a huge win for religious freedom and freedom of speech.” Duka and Koski told “Fox News @ Night” last year they “serve all people” and decided to challenge the law to defend “the right of artists to create freely.” “Joanna and Breanna work with all people; they just don’t promote all messages,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Jonathan Scruggs, who argued on the pair’s behalf, said in a statement. “They, like all creative professionals, should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment.” Writing for the majority, Justice Andrew Gould concluded that the city of Phoenix “cannot apply its Human Relations Ordinance” to force Brush & Nib to “create custom wedding invitations celebrating same-sex wedding ceremonies in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs.” “Duka and Koski’s beliefs about same-sex marriage may seem old-fashioned, or even offensive to some,” Gould wrote. “But the guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion are not only for those who are deemed sufficiently enlightened, advanced, or progressive. They are for everyone.”
Exactly!! And well said, your Honor. We applaud this outstanding decision by the AZ Supreme Court. Like the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of a Colorado baker for a similar situation, this is a BIG victory for freedom of speech and freedom of religion…some of our most basic values. Excellent!! 🙂