Kathleen Troia McFarland

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Kathleen Troia McFarland (commonly called K.T. McFarland) was a Fox News analyst until November 2016 where she was appointed to serve as deputy national security adviser in Donald Trump's cabinet, after serving as the general counsel for the Trump campaign. McFarland served in various posts, including National Security Council staff member, under former Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. [1]


She started serving in the Nixon administration, when she was an aide to Henry Kissinger. She was a staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, a speechwriter for Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, and the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. [2]

Most lately McFarland was a Fox News security analyst, anchored Fox News' DEFCON 3 and wrote a recurring opinion column for the network.[3]


2006 election race

Earlier, in 2006, McFarland ran in the Republican primary looking to challenge Hillary Clinton in a New York Senate race. During the race, some of her background statements were revealed as untrue, including the claim she 'had been the highest-ranking woman at the Reagan Pentagon', whereas two women had been ranked above her. McFarland's run was unsuccessful, which may have been partly due to this story. [3]

2011 discussion with Petraeus

In 2011, McFarland was reportedly asked to deliver a message directly from Fox News founder Roger Ailes to David Petraeus, then-commander of U.S. and coalition forces. Traveling to Afghanistan, McFarland told Petraeus: 'If you’re offered [JCS] chairman, take it. If you’re offered anything else, don’t take it; resign in six months and run for president.' Petraeus was eventually offered the head JCS (Joint Chiefs post) position by President Obama, and thus did not run against him for president. The entire exchange was recorded, though Ailes downplayed McFarland's influence at the time, saying: 'It sounds like she thought she was on a secret mission in the Reagan administration. . . . She was way out of line.'[3]


She has been highly critical of President Obama’s approach to combating terrorism — a view that aligns her with Trump’s choice for national security adviser, Islam critic Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. [2]

She said:

'We need to take a different approach to fighting terrorism than the one-size-fits-all, politically correct policy we have had in place for over a decade.' [3]


She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and sits on the board of theJamestown Foundation, 'a think-tank focused on China, Russia, Eurasia, and global terrorism'. [4]


  1. Steve Peoples Donald Trump reveals 2 more appointments, Boston Globe, NOVEMBER 25, 2016. Accessed 21 December 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mark Landler, Donald Trump Adds K.T. McFarland to His National Security Team, New York Times, NOVEMBER 25, 2016. Accessed 21 December 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Cameron Norsworthy, Who Is KT McFarland? She Joins Trump’s Cabinet As Deputy National Security Adviser, Romper, 25 November 2016. Accessed 21 December 2016.
  4. Trump appoints Fox News analyst as deputy NatSec adviser, RT News, 25 November 2016. Accessed 21 December 2016.