Last week, President Trump selected his fourth national security adviser in the wake of John Bolton’s recent ouster from the position. Taking over the role is Robert O’Brien, who will be tasked with handling everything from immigration policy to negotiations with North Korea. But as The Guardian reported this Tuesday, questions are already being raised about his background.
During the apartheid era, O’Brien attended a segregated university in South Africa. As The Guardian reports, O’Brien was at the University of the Orange Free State starting in 1986 during a time when South Africa was a pariah state slammed with boycotts and sanctions from the US. According to the university’s former vice-chancellor Professor Jonathan Jansen, the school was a “white, Afrikaans university for people then called Afrikaners – very conservative and routinely racist not only in their policies but in their practices.”
Speaking to The Guardian, Jansen said there were “no black students or staff” at the university” except those cleaning the place and working the gardens.”
From The Guardian:
It has also emerged that O’Brien has had contact with AfriForum, a controversial NGO in South Africa which campaigns to protect the culture and interests of the country’s Afrikaans-speaking minority, and defends the apartheid legacy. The group has been at the centre of a series of high-profile rows over that legacy, most recently failing in an attempt to overturn a legal ruling designating the flying of the old apartheid-era South African flag as hate speech.
In a 2017 interview with AfriForum, O’Brien had nothing but good things to say about the university. In a book he authored titled While America Slept, he reportedly makes no mention of apartheid.
‘The worst day of the presidency so far for Donald Trump’: Advisor to four presidents
President Donald Trump has not had a worse day in office than he suffered on Friday, according to a top former White House advisor.
David Gergen served in the administrations of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He was interviewed Friday night by CNN's Anderson Cooper.
"If you are looking to throw somebody under the bus, Gordon Sondland would probably be a prime candidate to be next in line to be thrown under the bus," Cooper said.
"I think the president will wait patiently to see what he says and then decide," Gergen replied.
He then offered his analysis of the situation.
Chris Hayes breaks down the ‘busy day in the criminal chronicles of one President Donald J. Trump’
MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes connected the dots between all of the bombshell news that was reported Friday in the impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump.
"Good God, today has been ten days and this week has been ten weeks," Hayes said. "And there are a million things happening at once."
"Just in the past couple of hours, for instance, we just got this incredibly incriminating and damning behind closed doors testimony from a U.S. foreign service officer that was still supposed to be kind of like the B-story today, the sideshow," he explained. "It's a guy who works in the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, a guy named David Holmes. He testified behind closed doors that he could hear president Trump talking on the phone to the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union who was an inaugural donor, and they were in a restaurant in Kiev and the president was shouting so loudly on the phone that [Gordon] Sondland had to hold the phone away from his ear because it was hurting his eardrum, so then everyone could hear."
Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report
President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.
Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.