A former member of the Reagan administration who has held executive positions with Boeing and Lockheed Martin was named Tuesday to be acting national security adviser following the departure of John Bolton.
Charles Kupperman, 68, joined the Trump administration as deputy national security adviser under Bolton in January, Business Insider reported.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Kupperman would serve as acting national security adviser until President Trump names a permanent replacement for Bolton. Kupperman reportedly aligns closely with Bolton’s hawkish approach toward foreign policy and intervention, suggesting that his tenure as acting national security adviser may be short-lived.
In January, Trump cited Kupperman’s “more than four decades of national security policy and program experience” when he first appointed him to his national security team, according to Business Insider.
At the time, Bolton said in a White House statement that “Charlie Kupperman has been an advisor to me for more than thirty years, including during my tenure as National Security Advisor to President Trump. … Charlie’s extensive expertise in defense, arms control and aerospace will help further President Trump’s national security agenda.”
The choice of Kupperman was opposed, however, by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a leading Muslim civil rights group that immediately called for Kupperman’s resignation, citing his nearly a decade-long tenure with the Center for Security Policy (CSP), which CAIR regards as “an anti-Muslim hate group.”
Kupperman was a member of CSP’s board from 2001 to 2011. The group was founded by Frank Gaffney Jr., another former member of the Reagan adminsitraion, Business Insider reported. Critics have charged that the CSP has promoted conspiracy theories, including that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the U.S. government and that “creeping Shariah” law is a threat to US democracy.
Trump tweeted earlier Tuesday that he fired Bolton because he “disagreed strongly” with Bolton’s suggestions on a range of issues.
Bolton became Trump’s fourth national security adviser in April 2018, replacing H.R. McMaster, who had been appointed earlier in the administration to replace Michael Flynn. Keith Kellogg served as acting adviser between Flynn and McMaster.
Bolton’s removal comes after he was reportedly sidelined from high-level discussions about military involvement in Afghanistan, after opposing diplomatic efforts in the region.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.