After weeks of speculation, the White House announced on Friday that K.T. McFarland will leave her position as deputy national security adviser to serve as ambassador to Singapore.
“I am pleased to nominate K.T. McFarland to be Ambassador to Singapore, one of America’s great allies,” President Trump said in a statement. “While I am sorry to lose her, K.T.’s work in developing policies that put American interests first will have a lasting impact. She will remain an essential team member as she fulfills this new and important role.”
McFarland, a former Fox News analyst and Defense Department spokeswoman, will be replaced by Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Rick Waddell. He will report directly to National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.
Politico reported last week that Waddell would be taking over for McFarland, who has been rumored for weeks to be Trump’s nominee for the Singapore ambassadorship.
“K.T. provided essential and steadfast leadership during this transition,” McMaster said in a statement. “She initiated and laid the foundation of the first strategic policy reviews that the [National Security Council] will continue to build upon. K.T. is leaving a great team in place to support the President, and our friends in Singapore know they are getting one of his top aides as their American ambassador.”
McFarland, who is currently in Saudi Arabia with Trump and other White House officials, was an ally of McMaster’s predecessor, Michael Flynn.
”I am honored by President Trump’s trust in me,” McFarland said in a statement. ”It’s been an incredible experience to serve here in the White House during his early months in office, and now I’m looking forward to implementing his policy with one of our key allies in Asia. I wish all my colleagues the very best, especially Lieutenant General McMaster, and I look forward to continuing to coordinate closely with them from my new perch in Singapore.”