National security adviser Michael Flynn has hired four top deputies, including an executive for venture capitalist Peter Thiel — a top supporter of President Donald Trump — and former intelligence and legal officials who will manage broad portfolios, the White House announced.
Joining the retired lieutenant general’s inner circle are David Cattler, a former Defense Intelligence Agency official who will oversee regional affairs; John Eisenberg, a former Justice Department official who will be the NSC’s top legal adviser; longtime Commerce and State Department official Kenneth Juster, who will steer economic policy; and Kevin Harrington, most recently the managing director and head of research for Thiel Macro LLC, a San Francisco-based global macro hedge fund. Harrington will be responsible for strategic planning.
All will hold the title of deputy assistant to the president.
The announcement comes amid concerns from the NSC’s professional staff that Flynn is constructing a new layer of management that could minimize the role of subject-matter experts who work for the policy-making body inside the White House — a tight inner circle they also worry could make decisions at the expense of Cabinet departments.
The Obama administration also came under fire from Republicans and Democrats for micromanaging national security out of the National Security Council.