KT McFarland's Experience Beats That Of Some Of Donald Trump's Other Cabinet Members
President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly working through the holiday weekend in an effort to fill out his White House team. Trump named Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland as his deputy national security advisor, his transition team announced Friday. While McFarland's former gig as a Fox News analyst may have some younger voters questioning her experience, her resumé boasts positions in three different presidential administrations.
In announcing his decision to tap McFarland for his administration, Trump emphasized the 65-year-old's experience. "I am proud that KT has once again decided to serve our country and join my national security team," Trump said in a statement released by his transition team. "She has tremendous experience and innate talent that will complement the fantastic team we are assembling."
Indeed, McFarland has decades of experience in national security, having held a variety of positions in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations prior to her gig with Fox News. In the early to mid-70s McFarland worked as an aide to Henry Kissinger. In 1981 she became a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee Staff while working as a senior speechwriter to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and later deputy assistant secretary of Defense and Pentagon spokesman.
In 2006, McFarland waded into the politics of elected office with a failed attempt to unseat the-New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. McFarland was defeated in the state's Republican senate primary by former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer. During the campaign, questions were raised as to the accuracy of some of the claims McFarland had made about her career achievements.
While McFarland claimed to have been the highest-ranked woman at the Pentagon during the Reagan administration, the New York Times found there were two women with higher ranks employed during roughly that same time. A copy of McFarland's resume sent around to reporters in 2006 claimed she "Drafted President Reagan's Star Wars Speech," which the Times also found to be only partially true. While McFarland had helped to write a portion of the speech pertaining to the Regan administration's defense policy, the more famous passages were not written by her.
Although McFarland has been highly critical of President Barack Obama's national security policies as a contributor and analyst for Fox News, she's also recently acknowledged Trump's lack of experience and background in the area. "Foreign policy, national security, defense is not the president-elect's skill,” she said last week on Fox News. "He didn't come into the job with a lot of experience and background in it but in talking about the issues, he gets right to the core."
Despite his apparent lack of experience, McFarland seems to feel Trump has the right point of view for tackling some of the more pressing national security issues. "The American people chose Donald J. Trump to lead them for a reason," McFarland said in a statement released alongside news of her appointment. "Nobody has called foreign policy right more than President-elect Trump, and he gets no credit for it. I'm honored and humbled that he has asked me to be part of his team."
While McFarland is more experienced than some of Trump's other Cabinet appointments, her appointment may also prove to be far less controversial than that of her future boss. Critics have questioned the extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric, rumored unstable temperament, and background in lobbying for foreign governments of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who Trump has tapped as his national security advisor.
Correction: A previous version of this post suggested that McFarland held a current position at Fox News but her contract with the network was terminated following her new appointment. Bustle regrets this error.