US President-elect Donald Trump has named Mr Jason Greenblatt his special representative for international negotiations, creating a new White House role for his long-time right-hand man at Trump Tower.
A statement said Mr Greenblatt would assist “on international negotiations of all types, and trade deals around the world”.
During the presidential campaign, Mr Greenblatt advised Mr Trump on US-Israel policy. Relations between Washington and its traditionally staunch Middle-East ally have waned during the Obama years, and Mr Trump has pledged a reboot once he takes office.
Mr Greenblatt’s primary experience with international trade is that he previously negotiated deals on Mr Trump’s behalf. He represented Mr Trump’s vast real estate empire on legal and business matters for two decades.
The week before Mr Trump’s election, Mr Greenblatt and Mr David Friedman, who is now nominated as US ambassador to Israel, outlined the new administration’s priorities, calling for the US to “cut off funds for the UN Human Rights Council, a body dominated by countries presently run by dictatorships that seems solely devoted to slandering the Jewish State”.
Like Mr Friedman, Mr Greenblatt is connected to Israeli settlement movements in disputed territories.
Separately, the Trumpappointment of Mr Tom Bossert as the top White House aide for homeland security and counterterrorism elevates his position to equal ranking with the national security adviser, a role going to retired Army general Michael Flynn. The arrangement restoresa separation of responsibilities in place during the George W. Bush administration, in which the veteran Republican also served.
In the Trump White House, Mr Bossert will coordinate US cybersecurity policy, sure to be a hot-button issue after what American intelligence officials call an unprecedented campaign by Russia to influence the American election in Mr Trump’s favour by hacking US political organisations.
“We must work toward cyber doctrine that reflects the wisdom of free markets, private competition, and the important but limited role of government in establishing and enforcing the rule of law, honouring the rights of personal property, the benefits of free and fair trade, and the fundamental principles of liberty,” Mr Bossert said on Tuesday.