Lt. Gen. HR McMaster to remain active duty as national security adviser

PHOTO: President Donald Trump shakes hands with Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster at Trumps Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Feb. 20, 2017, where he announced that McMaster will be the new national security adviser.PlaySusan Walsh/AP Photo
WATCH President Trump chooses new national security advisor

President Donald Trump announced today that Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster is his new national security adviser -- and White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he would remain on active duty while filling the post.

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This comes after Trump's first appointee to the post, Michael Flynn, resigned after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

Trump said Pence played a role in McMaster's selection and a Pence adviser said the vice president participated in the search.

Trump made the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and said Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who has been acting national security adviser since Flynn left, will remain as the chief of staff for the National Security Council.

"That combination is something very, very special," Trump said of McMaster and Kellogg.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump announces H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser and Keith Kellogg, right, as McMasters chief of staff at Trumps Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., Feb. 20, 2017. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump announces H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser and Keith Kellogg, right, as McMaster's chief of staff at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., Feb. 20, 2017.

Trump said he has "tremendous respect for the people I met with" for the role, including former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, who Trump said will work with his administration in a "somewhat different capacity."

Retired admiral and Navy SEAL Robert Harward, an ABC News contributor, was offered the job after Flynn's departure but turned down the position for personal reasons, according to a senior administration source.

McMaster, a West Point graduate who hold a Ph.D., was awarded the Silver Star for his leadership in the Gulf War. He is considered a leader in strategic thinking and was instrumental in counterinsurgency during the Iraq War.

McMaster isn't the first NSA to remain on active military duty during his term. Brent Scowcroft did under Gerald Ford as did Colin Powell under Ronald Reagan.