Obama appoints new anti-ISIS envoy

The United States has a new special envoy for the coalition to fight the Islamic State.

In a statement on Friday, President Obama announced the appointment of Brett McGurk as the special presidential envoy for the Counter Islamic State campaign. "Brett has my full support as he continues broadening and deepening our coalition efforts to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL," Obama said.

He will replace retired Marine Gen. John Allen, who has filled the position since its creation in September 2014. "Thanks in large part to Gen. Allen's tireless work, today the United States is leading a 65-member global coalition that is rolling back ISIL's territorial gains in Iraq and Syria, advising and assisting Iraqi Security Forces, constricting ISIL's financing the flow of foreign fighters, helping stabilize liberated communities and countering ISIL's heinous message," Obama said.

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McGurk has served as Allen's deputy envoy for the entirety of his tenure. He also served under President George W. Bush as special assistant to the president and senior director for Iraq and Afghanistan, and under Obama as senior adviser to the U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

He was also the subject of controversy in 2012, when leaked emails revealed that he had an affair with Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon in 2008. McGurk was still married at the time, and Chon was covering his work as the Journal's correspondent in Iraq. She was forced to resign, and the two married in 2012.

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