Trump Image Credit: Bloomberg

Washington: President Donald Trump interviewed a presidential envoy for hostage affairs, Robert C. O'Brien, as his search for a new National Security adviser continues, two people familiar with the meeting said.

Trump and O'Brien met at the White House on Friday, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the get-together hadn't been announced. Trump has said he has about 15 candidates to replace John Bolton, who was ousted earlier this week.

Trump is also set to have dinner Saturday with Richard Grenell, currently the US ambassador to Germany, according to one of the people. But Grenell, whose name has been floated as a possible replacement for Bolton, is being interviewed for another job, the person said.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier - whose son Otto, a University of Virginia student, was held in North Korea for more than 17 months and died shortly after he was sent home in a coma in 2017 - will also be guests at that dinner. CNN reported earlier that they would attend.

The White House declined to comment late Friday about the meetings. The State Department also declined to comment.

Possible Bolton replacements discussed by Trump associates include O'Brien and Brian Hook, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo's senior policy adviser.

Pompeo backs the candidacies of O'Brien, Hook and Ricky Waddell, a former national security official, according to one person familiar with his thinking. The Washington Post first reported Pompeo's support of the trio.

Trump said Thursday, while speaking to reporters at the White House, that he had 15 candidates for the post, and that he's not surprised in the interest for what he considers an easy job. "You know why it's easy? Because I make all of the decisions, you don't have to work,” Trump said.