Trump to retain envoy to anti-IS coalition
WASHINGTON - Incoming US president Donald Trump will retain his predecessor's special envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State group, Brett McGurk, his spokesman said Thursday.
As "Special Presidential Envoy", McGurk coordinates with around 70 allied states and with regional militia on the ground in the battle to destroy the jihadist group in Iraq, Syria and beyond.
A veteran diplomat, he was appointed in November 2015, working out of an office in the State Department and reporting to President Barack Obama, and makes regular trips to the region.
Trump's incoming administration has made it clear that it expects Obama's political appointees across the US government to clear their desks on Friday when the Republican president-elect is sworn in.
But on Thursday, Trump press secretary Sean Spicer said that around 50 high-level names would stay on, including McGurk and some others in vital national security roles.
McGurk was appointed to his current coalition role by Obama, but had previously served former Republican president George W. Bush as his special assistant and senior director on Iraq and Afghanistan.