U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, center, views the Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) Dream Chaser spacecraft. (Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg)

Pence Names Keith Kellogg as Top National Security Adviser

(Bloomberg) -- Vice President Mike Pence named Keith Kellogg as his top national security aide, after the previous candidate for the post withdrew amid reports that President Donald Trump was angered over his role in anti-Trump attack ads.

Kellogg, a retired Army lieutenant general, is a familiar face in the West Wing, currently serving as chief of staff to the National Security Council. He served temporarily as Trump’s top national security aide early in the administration, after Mike Flynn was fired for lying about contacts he had with Russians.

“General Kellogg has served his country and President Trump with distinction and I am honored that he will add his trusted voice to our team in this expanded role," Pence said in a statement.

Pence’s original selection, Jon Lerner, withdrew after Axios reported that Trump attempted to block the hiring because he was upset that Lerner had helped craft anti-Trump ads on behalf of the conservative activist organization Club For Growth during the 2016 campaign. Lerner currently serves as a deputy to United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

The move by Kellogg is the latest high-profile change on the National Security Council since the appointment of John Bolton to lead the organization late last month. Homeland security adviser Tom Bossert, top spokesman Michael Anton, acting deputy homeland security adviser Rob Joyce, and deputy national security adviser Ricky Waddell have all indicated their intention to depart the White House since Bolton’s predecessor, H.R. McMaster, left earlier this month.

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