President Donald Trump on Thursday shot down rumors that he might name Mike Pompeo national security adviser while keeping him as secretary of State.
“No, I wouldn’t” give Pompeo a second title, Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a congressional GOP retreat. He noted he’d spoken to Pompeo about the idea, however.
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“I think he’s fantastic. But I actually spoke to Mike Pompeo about that. He decided — I get along with him so well,” he continued. “We have a lot of the same views and a couple of a little different views. But he likes the idea of having somebody in there with him, and I do, too.”
Trump also said he has 15 candidates in mind to replace John Bolton, whom he ousted earlier this week after numerous disagreements about foreign affairs. POLITICO had reported on Wednesday that a wide range of people were being floated for National Security Council chief, from ambassadors to military officers to business leaders.
Trump also proclaimed that he’d had plenty of interest in the post, despite his administration’s reputation for record turnover.
“Everybody wants it badly, as you can imagine,” he said. “A lot of people want the job — it’s a great job. It’s great because it’s a lot of fun to work with Donald Trump. It’s very easy actually to work with me. You know why it’s easy? Because I make all the decisions. They don’t have to work.”
The prevailing assumption is that Trump will pick an NSC head who keeps a lower profile and makes a greater effort to maintain good relations with the rest of Trump’s national security team.
In announcing Bolton’s departure from the administration earlier this week, Trump said he would name Bolton’s replacement next week, a timeline he reiterated Thursday. “I think we’ll have an answer for you,” he said, adding, “we’ll probably next week sometime make that decision.”