J.D. Gordon is a former Pentagon official and Republican operative who became the Trump campaign’s Director of National Security in March 2016.
In his capacity as one of the campaign’s foreign-policy advisers, Gordon successfully advocated for removing language from the Republican Party platform calling on the U.S. to supply “lethal defensive weapons” to assist the government of Ukraine’s efforts to repel Russian forces attempting to annex Crimea. The change, which was reportedly the only one requested by the Trump campaign, represented a major divergence from the previous GOP position, which frequently criticized President Obama for not supplying Ukraine with lethal defensive weapons; Gordon has said that Trump himself requested the new language. Gordon later met with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the Republican National Convention. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)