• US National security Adviser tested positive for Covid-19
President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, has tested positive for Covid-19, according to an official familiar with what happened.
O’Brien last meet with Trump on July 10
O’Brien’s diagnosis marks the highest-ranking Trump administration official known to have tested positive. It is unclear when O’Brien last met with Trump. Their last public appearance together was over two weeks ago during a visit to US Southern Command in Miami on July 10.
Robert O’Brien is experiencing “mild symptoms” and is “self-isolating and working from a secure location off site,” according to an unnamed statement to the press from the White House. That statement confirmed O’Brien’s test results to reporters before his staff was formally informed. Several National Security Council staffers told CNN that they were not informed that O’Brien tested positive and learned of the news from media reports.O’Brien, one of Trump’s top aides, recently returned from Europe, where he and his top deputy met with officials from the UK, France, Germany and Italy.
A senior administration official told CNN that O’Brien has been working from home since last week. A source familiar said O’Brien was last in the office last Thursday, when he abruptly left the White House. The White House statement said there is “no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President.”
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters that one of O’Brien’s daughters also contracted Covid-19 and that’s how he believes he got it.
The National Security Council chief was accompanied on the trip to Europe by Secret Service agents, staffers and multiple reporters. Multiple pictures released from the trip showed O’Brien neither practicing social distancing nor wearing a mask.
One foreign official tells CNN that the Elysée, the French presidential palace, is scrambling as it processes the news of O’Brien’s positive test result. O’Brien met with Emmanuel Bonne, French President Emmanuel Macron’s top foreign policy adviser on July 14. Bonne briefs the French President multiple times a day.