Trump backs McMaster as critics, White House rivals question Rice authorization

Oscar Cross
August 6, 2017

McMaster, who remains on active duty as a U.S. Army lieutenant general, has removed three National Security Council aides loyal to Bannon in the past three weeks, reports The Weekly Standard.

McMaster, for example, dismissed top Middle East adviser Derek Harvey, last week amid reports that Harvey'd become too close to Trump's chief strategist, Stephen Bannon - a bitter rival of McMaster. He rose to fame when he wrote a note comparing the technique employed by the globalists and Islamists against President Trump (the creation of a parallel state) to that employed by the Chinese maoïsts. The crisis is linked to McMaster's decision to remove four Bannon allies from the National Security Council. But the White House officials told Circa that under the current congressional investigation, and given President Trump's ongoing concern that members of his team were unmasked, Rice's clearance should have been limited to congressional testimony only or revoked until the end of the investigation. He then reportedly came to the astonishing conclusion that former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice did nothing wrong by unmasking Trump campaign officials during the transition - a belief firmly at odds with past statements by Trump.

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.

Cernovich also set up a website this week called McMaster Leaks.

The NSC also told Fox News that extending Rice's security clearance doesn't mean she gets to look at any classified information.

McMaster's comments came amid heightened tensions between the USA and North Korea, particularly over Pyongyang's continued efforts to advance its weapons and nuclear programs. The Times reported Wednesday that Trump is considering replacing McMaster with CIA Director Mike Pompeo - and sending McMaster to Afghanistan.

White House insiders told the Washington Free Beacon that "more purges are said to be on the way", including "at least four other senior NSC officials McMaster intends to target". McMaster, meanwhile, is apparently already on thin ice with the more nationalist wing of the White House.

"I like the protocol, the idea that there's a paper trail, there's a pecking order", said Kellyanne Conway, Trump's senior counselor, on CNN Tonight.

Following the departure from the Trump administration of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, the betting game began. "Kelly is not going to undercut others responsible for national security issues". McMaster's job is to develop the strategy of doing more with less, a near impossibility. "In fact, they would have their security clearance and right to "need-to-know" stripped". "That common experience of having served in uniform and in battle creates a very strong bond between these people".

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