Under Mr. Trump, he was appointed special envoy of the President for hostage-taking and campaigned for the release of Americans imprisoned abroad. Among those released were Andrew Brunson, a pastor who has been held by Turkey for two years, and Danny Burch, an oil company engineer abducted in Yemen and rescued from a raid on UAE forces.
Mr. Trump has often celebrated these releases with meetings at the Oval Office, where Mr O & Brien generously praised the President.
"This would not happen to all these hostages and detainees without the support of the President," said Mr. O'Brien said in March after Mr. Burch's release. "The President has achieved unprecedented success by bringing Americans home without paying concessions, without prisoner exchanges, but through the willpower and goodwill he has generated around the world."
More recently, Mr. Trump has sent Mr. O'Brien to Sweden for an unusual test mission to win the release of rap star ASAP Rocky, who has been arrested for criminal offenses. A Swedish judge released the rapper in anticipation of the case, and a court later found him guilty. He was sentenced to pay damages, but did not have time to spend behind bars.
Mr. According to a person familiar with the events, O'Brien had a successful meeting on Friday with the president and acting chief of staff of the White House. Mr. Trump was impressed with Mr. O'Brien's looks and behavior and believed that he "sees the role," as a person close to the president said.
Mr. O'Brien is not known to the president, but he has seen him at various events in the Oval Office. He also liked the role Mr. O'Brien played in the case of ASAP Rocky.