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Trump taps national security veteran for White House role

Former Nixon aide Kathleen McFarland will work alongside Michael Flynn as deputy national security adviser
Kathleen McFarland was aide to Henry Kissinger during Nixon administration (ISAF)

US President-elect Donald Trump on Friday appointed a longstanding Republican commentator and government official as deputy national security adviser.

Fox News commentator Kathleen Troia "KT" McFarland, 65, will return once again to the executive mansion as No 2 to former general Michael Flynn.

"She has tremendous experience and innate talent that will complement the fantastic team we are assembling," Trump said in a statement issued from his luxury Florida golf resort.

White House national security roles do not need to be confirmed by the Senate, so McFarland will take up her duties when President Barack Obama passes Trump the baton on 20 January.

She is an uncontroversial choice within conservative circles, with decades of experience under three former Republican presidents. She is also a former aide to foreign policy heavyweight Henry Kissinger.

McFarland has never held elected office, but in 2006 was defeated in a bid to seek the Republican nomination to challenge then New York senator Hillary Clinton's successful re-election bid.

'Vladimir Putin is the one who really deserves that Nobel Peace Prize' - KT McFarland

Her most prominent roles before joining Fox News were as deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs under president Ronald Reagan, and as defense secretary Caspar Weinberger's speechwriter and spokeswoman between 1982 and 1985.

McFarland made a host of controversial statements while she was a commentator for Fox News. After the attacks in Paris that left 130 dead, she called for "terrorist profiling".

"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," she said in a Fox News online op-ed.

And in 2013, she said "Vladimir Putin is the one who really deserves that Nobel Peace Prize" for his involvement in the Syrian war.

McFarland's appointment came as Trump was ensconced with senior advisers in his Mar-a-Lago resort drawing up transition plans. A spokesman said no more major decisions are expected before Monday.