Conservatives Call for McMaster's Firing: Is He Undermining President Trump?

Kelvin Reese
August 6, 2017

White House aides said they do not know if the purge list represented a genuine plan by a newly-empowered McMaster to root out more staffers or a ruse by pro-Trump activists created to sound the alarm about McMaster's perceived intent to clean house.

"I know that the president isn't a big fan of what McMaster's doing".

McMaster's comments came amid heightened tensions between the US and North Korea, particularly over Pyongyang's continued efforts to advance its weapons and nuclear programs.

In a volley of attacks from right-wing media, McMaster has been accused of being anti-Israel, having a short temper and collaborating with Obama-era officials. Two sources informed The Weekly Standard that Harvey was viewed as being too close with White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, which was a motivating factor in the purge.

McMaster also reportedly backs the U.S.'s continued support of the Iran nuclear deal while Bannon and White House deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka are vocal opponents of the 2015 agreement.

In addition to the firings of people seen as particularly pro-Trump, many on the right also seized on a decision to extend a security clearance for Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's final national security adviser.

According to Lake, documents showing that Rice made the unmasking requests were uncovered by the NSC's former senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who was sacked by McMaster on Wednesday.

U.S. military: Georgian soldier killed in latest Afghan attack
A group of Taliban militants attacked a money exchange shop in Helmand province of Afghanistan on Friday morning, officials said. The coalition maintains almost 13,000 troops from 39 countries as part of a mission to train, advise and assist Afghan troops.

Circa revealed in March that during President Obama's tenure, top aides - including Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch - routinely reviewed intelligence reports received from the National Security Agency's incidental intercepts of Americans overseas.

For the time being though, McMaster's position seems safe, with a senior White House official telling the New York Times Friday that the president has "total confidence" in his national security adviser.

Senior Israeli defense officials told Haaretz on Saturday that the allegations against McMaster concerning Israel are false and baseless.

In a recent Situation Room meeting, the President - who is frustrated by his options in Afghanistan - raised the idea of firing the top United States commander in Afghanistan and replacing him with General McMaster, according to officials with knowledge of the discussion.

McMaster's various moves have been noticed by Trump's base, with #FireMcMaster becoming a trending hashtag on Twitter, and a regular topic on conservative news sites - including Breitbart News.

Mr Cohen-Watnick's departure came as part of a string of shake-ups at the White House and national security council.

The White House has not responded to requests for comment. The Times reported Wednesday that Trump is considering replacing McMaster with CIA Director Mike Pompeo - and sending McMaster to Afghanistan.

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