President-elect Donald J. Trump plans to name K. T. McFarland, an aide to three Republican White Houses and a frequent Fox News commentator, to the position of deputy national security adviser, as he continues to fill his foreign policy staff with aides who have hard-line views on the fight against terrorism.
Ms. McFarland, like Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the president-elect’s choice for national security adviser, has been highly critical of President Obama’s approach to combating terrorism, saying he has not acknowledged the threat that global Islamism poses to Western civilization.
The choice of Ms. McFarland was confirmed on Friday morning by a senior adviser in Mr. Trump’s transition effort.
Ms. McFarland’s selection comes as Mr. Trump and his team remain locked in a debate over appointing a secretary of state, the most important foreign policy job in the administration. Aides to Mr. Trump have said a decision on that post may not come until next week at the earliest.
The dispute centers on whether Mr. Trump should select Mitt Romney or Rudolph W. Giuliani for the cabinet position. It remains possible, Mr. Trump’s advisers said, that the job could go to someone else, like Gen. John F. Kelly, a Marine who led the United States Southern Command under Mr. Obama.
Rival camps within Mr. Trump’s orbit have split over the decision, tracing many of the same battle lines that divided the Republican Party in its bitter struggle over Mr. Trump’s nomination.
Some Republicans with Mr. Trump’s ear, like Newt Gingrich and Stephen K. Bannon, the president-elect’s chief strategist, have voiced concerns that Mr. Romney’s vehement opposition to Mr. Trump during the primary campaign raises questions of his loyalty.
Others, like Vice President-elect Mike Pence, have said privately that Mr. Giuliani might not be a wise choice, given the questions over his outside income, which would be likely to complicate his Senate confirmation.
Ms. McFarland, who will not require Senate confirmation, worked for the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. From 1970 to 1976, she was an adviser to Henry A. Kissinger on the National Security Council. She also ran unsuccessfully in a 2006 Republican Senate primary race for the seat held by Hillary Clinton.
Photo: Angel Chevrestt