President Donald Trump said Thursday afternoon that he won’t name Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as John Bolton’s replacement on the National Security Council, despite reports the unusual move was under consideration.
“I think he’s fantastic, but I actually spoke to Mike Pompeo about that,” Trump said outside the White House, adding that he and Pompeo get along well because “we have a lot of the same view and a couple of different ones.”
But the President added that Pompeo “likes the idea of having someone in there with him and I do, too.”
CNN reported on Wednesday that administration officials are discussing the possibility of replacing Bolton with Pompeo. Under this scenario, the country’s top diplomat would absorb the national security adviser role and do both jobs, according to a senior administration official and a source familiar with the possibilities.
That would make Pompeo the second person in history to have both jobs at the same time. The first, Henry Kissinger, was already President Richard Nixon’s national security adviser when he was appointed secretary of state in 1973, and he filled both roles for two years.
Trump said he’s now considering 15 candidates, after saying there were five on Wednesday. The President added that working with him is easy because “I make all the decisions, and they don’t have to work.”
CNN’s Kylie Atwood, Jeremy Diamond, Zachary Cohen and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.