"General McMaster does not require Senate confirmation to serve as National Security Adviser," a Senate Armed Services Committee aide confirmed in a statement to Defense News. "However, if it is the president’s desire that General McMaster serve as National Security Adviser while in his current grade of lieutenant general, the law requires that General McMaster would have to be reappointed by the president and reconfirmed by the Senate in that grade for his new position."
Trump fired his previous national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a week ago, after revelations that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about discussing sanctions with Russia's ambassador to the US during the presidential transition. Trump said in a news conference Thursday he did not believe Flynn had done anything illegal.
Retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward turned down the job earlier this month. Politico reported that Harward wanted commitments the National Security Council would be fully in charge of security matters, not Trump's political advisers. And he wanted to be able to select his own staff.
On Tuesday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer characterized those reports as "rumors" and said they were "100 percent false," as Harward declined due to family and financial concerns. McMaster, Spicer said, has "full authority to structure the office to his desires."
Spicer said McMaster will "stay on active duty," and that he "would not require Senate confirmation," but did not offer comment on the process beyond that.