|(Feb. 14, 2017) -- Pres. Donald Trump has chosen retired Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. to serve as his administration's interim National Security following the awkward resignation (under self-inflicted incoming fire and apparent leaks) of Michael Flynn.
If one listened closely on election night, among the people Mr. Trump thanked at the podium as he first spoke publicly as President-elect was General Kellogg...and yes, he's part of the Kellogg family with roots in Long Beach. Lt. Gen. Kellogg (born in May 1944) and his brothers and sister all grew up in Long Beach. Jeff Kellogg served on the Long Beach City Council (8th district) from 1988-2000, exiting under term limits and winning election in 2002 to the Long Beach Community College Board of Trustees where he continues to serve. Brother Mike Kellogg is an L.A. County Superior Court Judge. Sister Kathie Kellogg-Taxe, Ph.D is a clinical psychologist. All attended LBUSD schools (Keith, Mike and Kathie at Poly, Jeff at Jordan.)
Within hours of being named "interim" National Security Advisory, "inside-the-Beltway" speculation began over whether Gen. Kellogg would end up as President Trump's permanent National Security Advisor. (Exhibit A from Politico.com is here., but caveat, "inside-the-Beltway" speculation has often been off-the-mark about Mr. Trump during the campaign and now in office.)
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The National Security Advisor is basically an inside-the-White House advisor to the President of national security issues. He's chosen by the President, doesn't require Senate confirmation, doesn't have budget authority and would likely be inside the White House Situation Room during a crisis. The National Security Advisor has the President's ear (especially given his location inside the White House) and can provide a counter-point to advice from State Dept. and Defense Dept. officials who may continue from previous administrations.
Following his Army retirement, Kellogg held positions with a number of defense/national security-related firms [source: Ballotpedia.com]: GTSI (board member), Oracle (Sr. VP), CACI International (Exec. VP), Cubic Defense Applications (Sr. VP) and Abraxis (President of Cubic subsidiary). He took a leave of absence from Oracle from Nov. 2003-Mar. 2004 to serve as Chief Operations Operations Officer for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq (the group tasked with forming a new military and rebuilding the country after the fall of Saddam Hussein. In that position, Kellogg was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, its highest civilian defense award.
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