Donald Trump has appointed an experienced hand from the George W. Bush era to his national security circle and a figure from the Trump Organization to make international deals. Thomas Bossert will become an assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. A statement from Trump's transition team said Bossert will advise the president on issues related to homeland security, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity, and coordinate the process for making and executing policy in those areas. The position "is being elevated and restored to its independent status alongside the national security adviser," the statement said. Policymakers have long debated whether such national security jobs should operate independently from the White House, the AP notes.
Bossert, currently president of the risk management consulting firm CDS Consulting, served as deputy assistant to the president for homeland security under Bush. The president-elect also appointed one of his main advisers on US-Israel relations as special representative for international negotiations. Jason Greenblatt has worked for the Trump Organization for more than two decades and currently serves as its executive vice president and chief legal officer. In the statement, Trump said Greenblatt "has a history of negotiating substantial, complex transactions on my behalf," and has the expertise to "bring parties together and build consensus on difficult and sensitive topics." Trump recently named his other top adviser on Israel, David Friedman, as his pick for US ambassador to Israel. (Liberal Jewish groups aren't happy about the choice of Friedman.)