January 21, 2018

Donald Trump defends national security adviser amid criticism from conservatives

06 August 2017, 01:37 | Cassandra Thompson

Donald Trump has not warmed to the State Department

Donald Trump has not warmed to the State Department

"General McMaster and I are working very well together", the statement read.

"I hereby waive the requirement that you must have a "need-to-know" to access any classified information contained in items you 'originated, reviewed, signed or received while serving, ' as National Security Adviser", the letter said. "McMaster would act like the tangents didn't happen and go back to Point 2 on his card".

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.

McMaster associates told the Times that they believe White House senior strategist Steve Bannon is behind the campaign to axe McMaster, and that's far from the first time that feud has come to light.

Trump himself has expressed frustration with McMaster after being presented options on key security issues that appear only marginally different than what Obama pursued while he was in office.

But he enraged Trump's base this week then he fired Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council - the third conservative departure in a week.

McMaster's insistence, alongside that of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford, that the U.S. re-certify Iran's compliance with the Obama-era nuclear deal was met with sharp pushback from the President, who felt such a move would undermine his campaign promise to scrap the agreement.

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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. Cohen-Watnick was involved in providing documents related to the incidental surveillance of members of Trump's transition team to House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes in March.

The hate campaign was sparked by reports this week that McMaster was seeking to purge the National Security Council of allies of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign after it was revealed he held undisclosed meetings with Russian officials.

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

President Trump's national security adviser H.R. McMaster delivered a stark warning of the dangers posed by North Korea, saying the rogue regime's threat to the world can not be overstated.

The firing of the NSC's director for strategy planning, Richard Higgins, on July 21, meanwhile, was linked to a conspiratorial memo he'd sent about radical Islam rather than his ties to Bannon or NSC aide Sebastian Gorka, an NSC aide said.

Guest host Dana Perino asked if McMaster is on thin ice at the White House.

McMaster has been on a firing spree of Bannon loyalists.

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