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Friday, November 25, 2016
Trump Taps K.T. McFarland, Don McGahn for White House Team
Candidate Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland debates against John Spencer for the republican Senate nomination, on the campus of Pace University in New York on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2006. (AP Photo/Angel Chevrestt, Pool) S.A. Miller
President-elect Donald Trump announced Friday that he decided on two more members of his team: Katherine Troia “K.T.” McFarland for deputy national security adviser and Don McGahn for White House Counsel.
Mr. Trump said that Ms. McFarland, who worked in national security and defense positions in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations, has “tremendous experience and innate talent that will complement the fantastic team we are assembling.”
He praised Mr. McGahn, a campaign finance lawyer who served as legal counsel on the Trump campaign and transition team, for having “a brilliant legal mind, excellent character and a deep understanding of constitutional law.”
The announcements came as Mr. Trump spends the long Thanksgiving weekend with family at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
He is scheduled to resume interviews Monday at Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Ms. McFarland, who currently is a national security analysis on Fox News, said that she was “honored and humbled” to join Mr. Trump’s team.
“The American people chose Donald J. Trump to lead them for a reason,” she said in a statement. “He has the courage, brilliance and energy to Make America Great Again, and nobody has called foreign policy right more than President-elect Trump, and he gets no credit for it.”
Mr. McGahn called the president-elect a “bold leader” who he was honored to serve.
“President-elect Trump is a bold leader committed to draining the swamp in Washington and restoring economic prosperity and security. I look forward to serving the American public in this role,” he said in a statement.
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, applauded the appointment of Ms. McFarland.
“In asking K.T. McFarland to become his Deputy National Security Adviser, President-elect Trump has brought to the top ranks of his Administration one of our country’s most experienced, informed and wise foreign policy and national security experts,” he said in a statement released by the transition team.
The former Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman said that Ms. McFarland would form “a very strong leadership team” with retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, whom Mr. Trump tapped for national security adviser.
“Beyond K.T.’s professional skills, I can speak to her personal character strengths as well because I have known her as a family friend ever since she had the good judgment to marry Alan McFarland, who was my classmate at college and law school,” Mr. Lieberman said. “K.T. has great personal values. She is a woman of honor, compassion and patriotism.”
In 1985, Ms. McFarland received the Defense Department’s highest civilian honor, the Distinguished Service Award, for her work in the Reagan Administration.
Ms. McFarland also ran for U.S. Senate in New York in 2006 but lost to Sen. Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee defeated by Mr. Trump.
Mr. McGahn is a veteran political lawyer who currently is a partner at the Jones Day firm in Washington.
“Donald McGahn will make an excellent counsel to the president,” Ed Meese, attorney general and counselor to President Ronald Reagan, said in a statement from the transition team. “Throughout his distinguished career as a lawyer and government official, he has dealt ably with the intersection between politics, government ethics and the rule of law.”
Mr. McGahn previously served as a member of the Federal Elections Commission, including stints as chairman and vice chairman.
He also served for nearly 10 years as the general counsel for the National Republican Congressional Committee, where he advised Congress members regarding ethics.