Kathleen Troia McFarland

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Kathleen Troia McFarland with J.B Dutton (ISAF)[1]

Kathleen Troia "KT" McFarland (born c. July 24, 1951) is an American communications consultant. She served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1985. She also served as a speech writer to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. She unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in New York in 2006 and is currently a Fox News contributor on foreign policy and national security issues.

Education and early career[edit]

McFarland is a graduate of George Washington University. Her government career began while she was a freshman at George Washington University, working part-time in the White House Situation Room typing the President's Daily Brief. She spent seven years in the West Wing of the White House, working her way up to become a key member of Henry Kissinger's National Security Council Staff. After the Ford Administration, McFarland studied at Oxford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with concentrations on nuclear weapons, China and the Soviet Union.

2006 Senate campaign[edit]

McFarland ran as a Republican in the New York United States Senate election, 2006, for the seat then held by Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was defeated by former Yonkers mayor John Spencer.

McFarland had never held elected office. On May 31, 2006, McFarland's Republican opponent, John Spencer won the endorsement of the state Republican Party organization, with 63 percent of the vote. He did not achieve the threshold of 75 percent needed to prevent McFarland from gaining an automatic position on the primary ballot. McFarland faced Spencer in the September 12, 2006, Republican primary, which he won by a vote of approximately 60–40%. Senator Clinton, ultimately, succeeded in her bid for re-election.

Fox News and David Petraeus[edit]

It was reported in late 2012 that, as a Fox News analyst headed to Afghanistan in spring 2011, McFarland carried a message from Roger Ailes to commanding General David Petraeus encouraging Petraeus to run for president if President Barack Obama did not offer Petraeus the position of head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Obama later offered Petraeus the top CIA job, Petraeus accepted it and no Petraeus presidential campaign developed.[2] McFarland responded to the 2012 report by writing that Ailes was "joking" in sending his message and that "Petraeus and I were having fun" engaging in "the kind of idle speculation that happens in every campaign season". She also raised the questions of how the off-the-record conversation was taped and how the tape was then released 18 months later, writing they were "more interesting" than the ones considered in the initial report.[3]


  1. ^ "KT McFarland interviews DCOM LT Gen Dutton" (page of photos and captions with ISAF logo), Flickr, May 11, 2009. Citation retrieved 2012-12-05.
  2. ^ Woodward, Bob, "Fox News chief’s failed attempt to enlist Petraeus as presidential candidate", Washington Post, December 3, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  3. ^ McFarland, K.T., "My Petraeus interview firestorm silly, off-base", FoxNews.com, December 04, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-05.

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