Published: Sun, August 06, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Trump defends national security adviser HR McMaster amid calls for his firing

Trump defends national security adviser HR McMaster amid calls for his firing

Amid a campaign against him from sections of the right wing media, president Trump on Friday re-affirmed his confidence in three star lieutenant general and national security adviser HR McMaster. "Conservative Review reports that from ".interviews with several current and former members of President Trump's inner circle, a profile of McMaster has emerged as a man fiercely opposed to strengthening the USA alliance with the Jewish state". Breitbart attacks quoting "administration officials" alleged McMaster opposed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appearing alongside Trump at the president's recent visit to the Western Wall.

On "The Story" tonight, Lt. Col. Michael Waltz (Ret.) said Trump is right to be frustrated with the lack of a comprehensive strategy in Afghanistan.

Last Thursday, Derek Harvey, senior director for the Middle East, was kicked off the NSC after complaints directly from Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a McMaster ally. "Meanwhile, blogger Mike Cernovich has been tweeting links to a website called McMasterLeaks, which contains a single blog post with multiple examples of how McMaster is undermining Trump".

Within days of the recertification, it was reported that Trump had authorized the establishment of a rival group within the White House, led by Bannon, that would seek a path out of the deal. Rice has been accused by the president, who has cited no evidence, of involvement in attempts to unmask Trump officials wiretapped by US intelligence agencies during last year's election.

McMaster is now involved in a power struggle within the Trump administration, facing off against the far-right wing headed by senior adviser Steve Bannon, who is attempting to bring about McMaster's resignation.

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Cohen-Watnick's removal comes after the revelation by The Atlantic on Wednesday of the dismissal of Rich Higgins, another Iran hawk who was the NSC's director of strategic planning.

Some conservatives have also criticized him for granting security clearance to Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser.

Other NSC aides chose to leave of their own volition, such as Victoria Coates, who has changed jobs to work under Jason Greenblatt, Trump's envoy for the Israel-Palestine peace process, and Tera Dahl, who is seeking a job at the US Agency for International Development. "He's one of the few people who can articulate Trump's vision effectively", an official told the website.

The meeting grew stormy when Trump said Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford, a Marine general, should consider firing Army General John Nicholson, commander of USA forces in Afghanistan, for not winning the war.

Some say McMaster's "purge" is part of a larger conflict in the White House between those committed to "draining the swamp,"' and "bureaucratic interests" trying to maintain establishment control over policy.

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