H.R. McMaster

McMaster Says Russia’s Confidence Is Growing

“In his last public remarks as national security adviser, Lt. Gen. HR McMaster offered harsh words for Russia during a speech,” CNN reports.

Said McMaster: “We have failed to impose sufficient costs’ on Russia.”

He added that the failure to impose adequate costs on Russia’s activities meant that “the Kremlin’s confidence is growing.”

Trump Will Soon Oust His National Security Adviser

President Trump “has decided to remove H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser and is actively discussing potential replacements, according to five people with knowledge of the plans, preparing to deliver yet another jolt to the senior ranks of his administration,” the Washington Post reports.

“Trump is now comfortable with ousting McMaster, with whom he never personally gelled, but is willing to take time executing the move because he wants to ensure both that the three-star Army general is not humiliated and that there is a strong successor lined up.”

“The turbulence is part of a broader potential shake-up under consideration by Trump that is likely to include senior officials at the White House, where staffers are gripped by fear and un­certainty as they await the next move from an impulsive president who enjoys stoking conflict.”

White House Preparing for McMaster’s Exit

“The White House is preparing to replace H.R. McMaster as national security adviser as early as next month in a move orchestrated by chief of staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis,” NBC News reports.

“The move would be the latest in a long string of staff shakeups at the White House over the past year and comes after months of strained relations between the president and McMaster.”

“A leading candidate to become President Trump’s third national security adviser is the auto industry executive Stephen Biegun, according to the officials.”

McMaster Could Leave White House

“With tensions flaring between President Trump and national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the Pentagon is considering options that would allow the President to potentially move the three-star general out of his current role and back into the military,” CNN reports.

“A search is quietly being conducted by the Pentagon to see if there is a four-star military job suited for McMaster… Several sources told CNN that the push for a replacement comes after months of personal tension between McMaster and Trump.”

McMaster Says Evidence of Meddling Is ‘Incontrovertible’

White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 election is “now really incontrovertible,” CNN reports.

McMaster has said previously it had been difficult to say definitively because “technically it was difficult” but “also you didn’t want to divulge your intelligence capabilities.”

He added: “But now that this is in the arena of a law enforcement investigation it’s going to be very apparent to everyone.”

McMaster Called Trump an ‘Idiot’ and a ‘Dope’

Five sources told BuzzFeed News that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster mocked President Trump’s intelligence at a private dinner with a powerful tech CEO.

“Over a July dinner with Oracle CEO Safra Catz — who has been mentioned as a candidate for several potential administration jobs — McMaster bluntly trashed his boss… The top national security official dismissed the president variously as an ‘idiot’ and a ‘dope’ with the intelligence of a ‘kindergartner.'”

A sixth source said that McMaster “had made similarly derogatory comments about Trump’s intelligence to him in private, including that the president lacked the necessary brainpower to understand the matters before the National Security Council.”

Adelson Comes Out In Support of McMaster

“Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson has come out in support of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, disavowing a campaign against McMaster by a group Adelson funds, the Zionist Organization of America,” according to Jonathan Swan.

“Adelson is one of the biggest financial donors in Republican politics, and his influence over national security and Israel-related matters is substantial. His is a voice listened to by President Trump and other senior White House officials like Jared Kushner.”

Exchange of the Day

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was interviewed by Chuck Todd on Meet the Press:

TODD: Can you and Steve Bannon still work together in this White House or not?

McMASTER: I get to work together with a broad range of talented people and it is a privilege every day to enable the national security team.

TODD: You didn’t answer can you and Steve Bannon work in that same White House?

McMASTER: I am, I am ready to work with anybody who will help advance the president’s agenda and advance the security, prosperity of the American people.

TODD: Do you believe Steve Bannon does that?

McMASTER: I believe that everyone who works in the White House who has the privilege, the great privilege every day of serving their nation should be motivated by that goal.

Campaign Against McMaster About to Get Nasty

“The bare-knuckle campaign to remove National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster from the White House is about to get much uglier,” according to Jonathan Swan.

“Outside forces opposed to McMaster are going to allege he has a drinking problem, according to sources outside the Trump administration familiar with the anti-McMaster campaign. The controversial nationalist Mike Cernovich, who has an inside track on the anti-McMaster campaign, teased the alcohol attack in an Internet video with Alex Jones of the website Infowars. Anti-McMaster forces believe this attack will harm his standing with the president, who is a teetotaler.”

Also important: “It’s unclear how long Bannon and McMaster, who are ideological foes, can both work in the same White House… Bannon has told associates he has nothing to do with the hits on McMaster, calling them a spontaneous reaction against the “globalist” from Trump’s nationalist base. But senior White House officials don’t believe him.”

McMaster Attacked for Being ‘Controlled by Jews’

President Trump’s National Security Adviser General H. R. McMaster “is being targeted in recent days by a far-right campaign that is accusing him, simultaneously, of being controlled by rich Jews and of harming the state of Israel,” Haaretz reports.

“The campaign is coming from media outlets and writers affiliated with Steve Bannon, President Trump’s senior political adviser, who has been accused in the past of making anti-Semitic comments.”

“The campaign against McMaster intensified after he fired a number of mid-level officials from the National Security Council, who were considered loyal to Bannon and to the former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.”

The Hill: Trump defends McMcMaster in the wake of criticism on the right.

Unrest Bubbles Among Trump’s Foreign Policy Team

“Frustration is mounting among leading foreign policy officials in President Donald Trump’s administration as they chafe at some policy and bureaucratic defeats and complain they lack independence to do their jobs,” Reuters reports.

“The clash between internationalists urging the traditional U.S. leadership role in the world and advocates of an ‘America First’ approach has worn down foreign policy and intelligence professionals inside the government.”

“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has told friends he will be lucky to last a year in his job, according to a friend, while two officials said national security adviser H.R. McMaster was frustrated by what he sees as disorganization and indiscipline on key policy issues inside the White House.”

McMaster Solidifies Control of National Security Council

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster “quietly slipped out of the White House grounds last week to seek the counsel of one of his aging predecessors, another three-star general who ran the National Security Council in a time of political turmoil and congressional probes,” Politico reports.

“McMaster’s session with 92-year-old Brent Scowcrof… was the clearest indication yet that McMaster, who took the reins of the NSC in February after his predecessor Mike Flynn was ousted, intends to radically depart from the approach taken by Flynn and President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who was removed from his seat on Wednesday.”

Washington Post: “McMaster has become a blunt force within the administration who has made clear to several top officials and the president that he does not want the NSC to have any political elements.”

McMaster Will Be Able to Pick His Own Staff

The Guardian reports that President Trump’s new national security adviser, H.R. McMaster is expected to pick his own staff, though “as a serving military officer, McMaster was not in a position to attach many preconditions to his service.”

Also interesting: “In contrast to Trump’s stated enthusiasm for torture, McMaster ordered detainees be treated humanely, and even polled detainees on how well the regiment followed through. And in contrast to the dark view of Islam put forward by Trump, his strategy chief Steve Bannon and, most notably, Flynn – who once tweeted that fear of Muslims is ‘rational’ – McMaster ordered his troops not to use derogatory terms to refer to Muslims.”

Trump Picks McMaster as National Security Adviser

President Trump picked Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, a widely respected military strategist, as his new national security adviser, calling him “a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience,” the New York Times reports.

The Washington Post reports that retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who has been serving in an acting capacity as national security adviser, will be the chief of staff on the National Security Council.

Thomas Ricks: “Picking McMaster is not a bad thing. I’ve known him since he was major. He’s smart, energetic, and tough… That said, the basic problems remain. To do the job right, McMaster needs to bring in his own people. And it remains unclear if he can get that.”