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Response to SWBTATTReg (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 27, 2020, 02:27 PM

7. May 2, 2020: Robert O'Brien "conspicuously out of sight" in the administration's efforts to fight C


O'Brien is as useless as Trump

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Robert O'Brien "conspicuously out of sight" in the administration's efforts to fight COVID. Rather than helping to lead the response, he delegated responsibilities to top aides and bypassed task force meetings.



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https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/02/politics/robert-obrien-national-security-adviser-coronavirus-out-of-sight/index.html


Trump's national security adviser out of sight in coronavirus response


Kylie Atwood

By Vivian Salama and Kylie Atwood, CNN

Updated 9:30 AM ET, Sat May 2, 2020


In this October 23, 2019, file photo, national security adviser Robert OBrien listens as President Donald Trump speaks about Syria in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House.
In this October 23, 2019, file photo, national security adviser Robert OBrien listens as President Donald Trump speaks about Syria in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House.

Washington (CNN)As President Donald Trump deals with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, he is without a key asset that has served many of his predecessors well during times of crisis: a bold, proactive national security adviser who can flag early threats and ensure the government is focused on combating them, current and former National Security Council officials tell CNN.
Robert O'Brien, Trump's fourth national security adviser, has been conspicuously out of sight in the administration's efforts to fight the coronavirus. Rather than helping to lead the response, he has delegated responsibilities to top aides and even bypassed coronavirus task force meetings.
In a rare, in-depth interview, O'Brien acknowledged to CNN that he's been out of sight from many public events at the White House, but he pushed back on any notion that he's absent, saying he meets with Trump almost daily to discuss the virus and is in constant contact with foreign allies to coordinate the response.

He did say the administration, as well as much of the world and scientific experts, took time to grasp the severity of the threat.


"Initially, no one understood the magnitude of this crisis," O'Brien said.


Still, several current administration officials tell CNN there is a growing sense inside the West Wing that O'Brien, a former lawyer and hostage negotiator, is out of his depth in the job and that his desire to keep a low profile inside a prickly White House has undermined his influence with the President -- to the point of irrelevance.



As the head of the National Security Council inside the White House, it's up to the national security adviser to sift through reams of intelligence from across the government in order to flag potential threats to the President early on, and in times of crisis to coordinate a government-wide response


Instead, O'Brien has taken a back seat in the coronavirus response, and tasked his deputy Matthew Pottinger to take the lead. Well-placed sources inside and outside the administration tell CNN that O'Brien's low-key approach was particularly problematic during the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, a period when, these sources say, he should have been far more aggressive in highlighting the threat of the virus, which was laid out in daily intelligence briefings long before the first American died of the disease. ................................

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