Who Is KT McFarland? She Joins Trump’s Cabinet As Deputy National Security Adviser
Steadily outfitting his administration, President-elect Donald Trump has now chosen his Deputy National Security Adviser — an appointment which doesn't require Senate approval. His chosen leader? Kathleen Troia McFarland, called "KT." But who Is KT McFarland? She touts decades of national security experience, dating back to when she served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs under former President Ronald Reagan, as well as serving presidents Nixon and Ford in other, national security capacities.
Nowadays, McFarland is most likely to be seen in one of her frequent appearances as an analyst on Fox News. McFarland also anchored Fox News' "DEFCON 3," and writes a recurring opinion column for the network.
Update: Since the announcement, McFarland's contract with Fox News has been terminated, a Fox News spokesperson confirmed to Deadline.
McFarland's record, though replete with experience, is spotted with light controversy. In spring of 2011, McFarland was reportedly asked to deliver a message directly from Fox News founder Roger Ailes to David H. Petraeus, then-commander of U.S. and coalition forces. Traveling to Afghanistan, McFarland told Petraeus: "If you’re offered [JCS] chairman, take it. If you’re offered anything else, don’t take it; resign in six months and run for president." Petraeus was eventually offered the head JCS (Joint Chiefs post) position by President Obama, and thus did not run against him for president. The entire exchange was recorded, though Ailes downplayed McFarland's influence at the time, saying: "It sounds like she thought she was on a secret mission in the Reagan administration. . . . She was way out of line."
Earlier, in 2006, McFarland ran in the Republican primary looking to challenge who else but Hillary Rodham Clinton in a New York Senate race. McFarland's run was unsuccessful, which may have been partly due some career claims which were very publicly challenged, summarized as the following: "She had worked on President Ronald Reagan's 'Star Wars' speech and had been the highest-ranking woman at the Reagan Pentagon." Both of these assertions were found to be not completely true. As for the speech, McFarland did have a hand in writing it, though she had no hand in its most significant moment which introduced an anti-ballistic missile program. In regards to her Pentagon rankings, two women came forward, revealing that they possessed higher ranks than McFarland.
Last week, McFarland acknowledged Trump's national security shortcomings on Fox News, saying: "He didn't come into the job with a lot of experience and background in it." She was sure so assert, though, that his impulses are effective, saying: "In talking about the issues, [Trump] gets right to the core."
McFarland believes: "We need to take a different approach to fighting terrorism than the one-size-fits-all, politically correct policy we have had in place for over a decade." Her views clearly align with Trump's, as the two have found obvious common ground and shared values. In a statement announcing the appointment, Trump noted: "[McFarland] has tremendous experience and innate talent that will complement the fantastic team we are assembling, which is crucial because nothing is more important than keeping our people safe."