- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I keep hearing that General Michael Flynn’s days at national security advisor are numbered. I don’t know how these people can peer inside the minds of President Donald Trump and his senior strategist, Steve Bannon, but talk they do.
If Flynn goes, the natural choice for successor would be General Keith Kellogg, his deputy. But Trump hasn’t known Kellogg for very long. So I think Trump would look elsewhere. Conventional Washington would like David Petraeus, especially now that he has been humbled. Petraeus knows Mattis well, even though they are very different people. But the intelligence community is still mad at Petraeus for his indiscretions, so there may be some negative talk — which Trump likely would ignore.
The wild card choice would be Bannon himself. Hard to justify, but Trump doesn’t justify or apologize.
Photo credit: JUSTIN HOBSON/Wikimedia Commons