Michael Flynn’s reign as Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser was short-lived.
He was quickly mired in the hysterical Russia collusion propaganda and forced to step down, which created an opening for current NSA advisor, H.R. McMaster.
McMaster was lauded for his sterling military record, but his actions suggest he could be behind something sinister.
McMaster does not appear to be on board with the President’s agenda. He has dispatched several Trump loyalists, and reportedly more are on the chopping block.
From the Washington Free Beacon:
An ongoing staffing purge being conducted by White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has thrown the West Wing into chaos, according to more than half a dozen Trump administration insiders who told the Washington Free Beacon that McMaster has been targeting long-time Trump loyalists who were clashing with career government staffers and holdovers from the Obama administration.
The purge is part of a larger drama unfolding inside the administration, between veteran Trump staffers committed to the president’s campaign vision of “draining the swamp”‘ in Washington and entrenched bureaucracies seeking to maintain control over policy decision-making, according to these sources, who said that many of these actions against his supporters are being conducted without Trump’s knowledge.
The Trump staffers fired by McMaster had repeatedly clashed with career government staffers and holdovers from the Obama administration on issues as diverse as military strategies for Syria and Afghanistan, whether to tear up Obama’s landmark Iran deal, the controversial détente with Cuba, the U.S. role in confronting Islamic radicalism, and the Paris Climate Accord, according to these sources.
“McMaster basically has this list and over the next two weeks he’s going to phase out” more senior officials loyal to Trump, said one administration insider intimately familiar with the upheaval occurring at the White House National Security Council. “They’re taking out people who were chosen to best implement the president’s policy that he articulated during the campaign.”
The latest victim of this purge is Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a senior NSC official originally hired by ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The White House acknowledged in a statement late Wednesday evening on Cohen-Watnick’s departure that McMaster viewed him as in conflict with his vision for the NSC.
A second senior official, Rich Higgins, who worked in the NSC’s strategic-planning office as a director for strategic planning, was fired last month. The president was not informed of the move until after Higgins was fired, according to one source who is in regular contact with senior NSC figures.
Published reports described Higgins’ firing as a “lasting victory” for McMaster over longtime Trump officials who helped get the president into office.
Many questioned why Trump changed his position on the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, a deal that frighteningly mirrored the deal Bill Clinton made with North Korea in 1994, leading to the current crisis with the belligerent dictatorship.
The article expounded on that issue:
A third senior official, then-NSC senior Middle East director Derek Harvey, was removed from his post roughly a week ago. He had also been a Flynn hire and a vocal opponent of the Iran deal.
“McMaster’s agenda is different than the president’s,” said one administration source with knowledge of the situation.
The moves have sparked outrage inside and outside of the administration, with multiple sources telling the Free Beacon that Trump is being pushed in a direction antithetical to the campaign promises that brought him into office.
One of the central flashpoints in this internal battle has been Iran and the future of the nuclear accord, multiple sources independently confirmed to the Free Beacon.
NSC officials such as Cohen-Watnick, Harvey, and others had been making the case that Trump should scrap the Obama administration’s 2015 nuclear deal over increasingly aggressive Iranian ballistic missile activity and mounting evidence Tehran is breaching the accord. McMaster, as well as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and top Obama-era State Department officials who worked on the deal, have aggressively urged maintaining it.
“That’s why they took him out,” explained one source, referring to Harvey, who is said to have constructed a comprehensive plan on how to scrap the nuclear deal.
Another source described the Trump administration’s Iran policy as “completely gutted” in the aftermath of these firings.
Another point of contention at the NSC was a Wednesday story by the Atlantic‘s Rosie Gray detailing the firing of Higgins.
The story described a memo written by Higgins outlining how the Trump administration should wrest control of policy-making from career staffers hostile to Trump. McMaster is said to have gone on the “warpath” over the disclosure of that memo, according to one source.
“One of the first things H.R. McMaster did when he took over the NSC was order all the staffers who came in with Trump to stop talking about Obama ‘holdovers.’ It was an actual, literal, explicit instruction,” the source said. “He didn’t want anyone pointing out how Obama loyalists were still in place, undermining President Trump, and leaking against him.”
These loyalists are said to include many Obama holdovers, including key NSC personnel who work directly for senior Obama aide Ben Rhodes, who has become a central suspect in the leaks of damaging classified information to the press.
The Republican expert confirmed that more firings are likely on the way.
“After he was done protecting the entrenched bureaucracy McMaster went on offense, which is what you’re seeing now,” the source said. “He’s purging the people who came up with Trump and are genuinely loyal to him.”
In addition to campaigning on dismantling the Iran deal, Trump vowed to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but hasn’t yet delivered on that promise. If some of these directives seem like continuation of old policy, it’s likely not by accident.
Caroline Glick, a Jerusalem Post columnist, wrote a screed on Facebook about McMaster:
According to senior officials aware of his behavior, he constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power and insists falsely and constantly that a country named Palestine existed where Israel is located until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Jews.
What hasn’t been reported is that it was McMaster who pressured Trump to agree not to let Netanyahu accompany him to the Western Wall. At the time, I and other reporters were led to believe that this was the decision of rogue anti-Israel officers at the US consulate in Jerusalem. But it wasn’t. It was McMaster.
And even that, it works out wasn’t sufficient for McMaster. He pressured Trump to cancel his visit to the Wall and only visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial — ala the Islamists who insist that the only reason Israel exists is European guilt over the Holocaust.
[McMaster] fires all of Trump’s loyalists and replaces them with Trump’s opponents, like Kris Bauman, an Israel hater and Hamas supporter who McMaster hired to work on the Israel-Palestinian desk. He allows anti-Israel, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Iran Obama people like Robert Malley to walk around the NSC and tell people what to do and think. He has left Ben (reporters know nothing about foreign policy and I lied to sell them the Iran deal) Rhodes’ and Valerie Jarrett’s people in place.
If McMaster’s actions seem dubious, George Soros-backed think tank Media Matters for America’s full-throated support of the NSA might sound alarm bells.
Media Matters for America, the George Soros-funded progressive activist organization, is praising Trump’s National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, for terminating some members of President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, criticizing conservative media for questioning his loyalty to the president, and his decision to allow former NSA Susan Rice continued access to classified information.
“Media in support of President Donald Trump are calling for the ouster of Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, accusing him of being a ‘globalist’ ‘traitor’ who is ‘aligned with the enemies of Trump and America,’ ” Media Matters wrote on its website on Friday.
Media Matters, founded by Hillary Clinton ally David Brock, titled its article “Fake news purveyors, Twitter trolls, and Sean Hannity go all in against national security adviser McMaster.”
“Over the past month, McMaster has worked to oust some members of the National Security Council (NSC) who were previously aligned with former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump’s chief strategist (and former Breitbart News head) Steve Bannon,” Media Matters wrote.
Media Matters also targeted “pro-Trump outlet” Circa News, for reporting that McMaster had sent a letter to former national security adviser Rice, “giving her unfettered and continuing access to classified information and waiving her ‘need-to-know’ requirement on anything she viewed or received during her tenure.”
Media Matters argued on behalf of Rice, who it said faced a “dubious accusation” of unmasking Trump officials caught up in surveillance and that “there is no proof Rice did anything wrong.”
The article compiles all “conservative” media that have questioned McMaster’s loyalty to the president, including Breitbart News, which reported in January on the efforts by Media Matters to “stop” Breitbart News.
“The scheme was documented in a Media Matters briefing book obtained by the Washington Free Beacon at a retreat for current and prospective donors held in Florida,” the Breitbart News article said.
“The 14-page pamphlet listed a core budget goal for 2017 of $13.4 million, which the booklet says would pay for a staff of 81, ostensibly to wage war on independent news media outlets like Breitbart,” the Breitbart News article said. “The briefing book focused heavily on Breitbart News, which was repeatedly singled out as a target.”
It’s not uncommon for former officials with clearance to gain access to files they’ve worked on, but the timing is suspicious; Rice is currently embroiled in the “unmasking” investigation, and while Trump loyalists are being excised, Obama loyalists like Rice have maintained positions and access.
Many have wondered for months why Trump has been so slow to discard Obama holdovers and fill the administration with his own people.
McMaster’s questionable actions just might’ve answered that.
Donald Trump’s victory grossly upset the establishment. A true outsider wasn’t supposed to win. The media have tried to overturn the results of the election by pumping the Russia collusion narrative and delegitimizing Trump’s presidency.
Left-wing media and organizations have been in relentless attack mode on Trump, excoriating every misstep and ignoring policy they like, so a glowing defense of McMaster should trigger one’s spidey-senses.