The Trump administration is in discussions about replacing former national security adviser John Bolton with Mike Pompeo while letting him keep his secretary of state gig, CNN reports.
Administration officials have discussed a scenario where Pompeo would do both jobs. Henry Kissinger previously served as both national security adviser and secretary of state to President Richard Nixon for two years.
The report notes that it’s unclear “how seriously” Trump is considering the possibility and added that Pompeo himself gave Trump a list of other names to consider.
Asked Wednesday who he would name to replace Bolton, Trump said, "I have five people that want it very much... Five people that I consider very highly qualified, good people."
Pompeo laughed at Bolton’s firing:
Pompeo was frequently at odds with Bolton and the two had even stopped talking to each other outside of formal meetings, according to CNN.
CNN reports that he was seen laughing with friends “about Bolton being fired” while attending a charity ball with his wife on Tuesday.
A source close to the White House said that Pompeo would fill Bolton’s role at least temporarily.
"He is going to act as national security adviser at least in the near term. Trump is happy with that," the source told the network.
Pompeo aide, North Korea envoy emerge as top candidates:
A senior administration official told CNN that Brian Hook, the administration’s envoy to Iran who is also a senior adviser to Pompeo, and Steve Beguin, the administration’s envoy to North Korea, have emerged as the top candidates to become Trump’s fourth national security adviser in three years.
“Hook or Biegun would be a marked departure from Bolton,” CNN reported. “Unlike Bolton, who was criticized by Trump on Wednesday for his positions on several foreign policy issues, including Iran and North Korea, Hook and Biegun are unlikely to challenge the President's desire for diplomatic deal-making, a quality that appears to be a prerequisite for the national security adviser post.”