Robert O’Brien, key Trump adviser, tests positive for Covid-19


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President Trump appointed O’Brien his adviser in September last year

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien has tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House has confirmed.

Mr. O’Brien, 54, has self-isolated and works from home.

The assistant has mild symptoms and there was no risk of exposure to Mr. Trump or Vice President Mike Pence, according to a statement.

Mr. O’Brien is the most senior official in Mr. Trump’s administration known to have tested positive.

It’s unclear when he and the president last met, but they appeared together two weeks ago on a trip to Miami.

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The White House statement read, “He has mild symptoms, has self-isolated and worked from a safe location off-site. There is no risk of being exposed to the president or vice-president. The work of the National Security Council continues without interruption. . ”

A source told Bloomberg that Mr O’Brien had been out of his office for a week and the adviser contracted the virus after a family event.

Anyone close to the president is regularly tested for Covid-19.

A number of people in and around the administration have tested positive, including a serviceman who works as a valet in the White House, Mr. Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, and a squadron of Marine helicopters.

Who is Robert O’Brien?

A lawyer by training, he had a long diplomatic career serving Republicans and Democrats. He is believed to be the most senior Mormon member of the Trump administration.

He was chosen to replace John Bolton as national security adviser last September, after Mr Bolton left amid fallout grudges with President Trump.

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Media captionSpeaking in April 2019, Robert O’Brien addresses families of Americans detained abroad

Mr. O’Brien shares the same views as Mr. Trump on a number of issues, including criticism of the UN and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.

Mr O’Brien traveled to Paris this month to discuss foreign policy issues with his European counterparts, and gave a speech in Arizona in June comparing Chinese President Xi Jinping to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.


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