Trump supporters are drawing battle lines over HR McMaster.
There are those who are pro-McMaster, unquestioning Trump loyalists who consider the US president a deity, and those, like myself, who are anti-McMaster and think the president is capable of making mistakes every once in a while.
There are dozens of reasons not to like or trust the man. Mike Cernovich has set up a website listing them.
The pro-McMaster people say that Cernovich is not a true Trump supporter and that President Donald Trump has full faith in the three-star general. Yet, McMaster has been sacking America First Trump loyalists and retaining globalists such as Dina Habib Powell.
Back in February PJ Media rightly questioned McMaster’s stance on terror. In 2014 — while working for Obama — the general reportedly said:
The Islamic State is not Islamic.
The article’s author, Robert Spencer — a well-known expert on Islam — explains:
A source that has asked to remain anonymous informs me of being present in August 2014 when McMaster was the featured speaker for the President’s Lecture Series at National Defense University. McMaster addressed an assembly of all the students in the colleges of the National Defense, including the National War College, the College of International Security Affairs (CISA), the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy (formerly the Industrial College of the Armed Forces), and the others.
No transcript or video is publicly available, but there was a large crowd and multiple witnesses.
Spencer pointed out:
If McMaster holds the view that the Islamic State is not Islamic, then he is a disastrous pick for national security adviser. He would continue the willful ignorance of the Obama administration, stifling efforts to understand and successfully counter the motives and goals of the enemy.
McMaster had already been appointed by the time Spencer wrote his article.
And, it seems, that what Spencer predicted came true.
As early as February 24, the New York Times reported that McMaster made his viewpoint clear to staff at the National Security Council:
The adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, told the staff of the National Security Council on Thursday, in his first “all hands” staff meeting, that the label “radical Islamic terrorism” was not helpful because terrorists are “un-Islamic,” according to people who were in the meeting.
That is a repudiation of the language regularly used by both the president and General McMaster’s predecessor, Michael T. Flynn, who resigned last week after admitting that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about a phone call with a Russian diplomat.
Cernovich went into full gear. In addition to videos and tweets, he also wrote several articles critical of McMaster.
On June 11, Cernovich reported (emphases in the original):
Eric Ciaramella, who worked closely with Susan Rice while at NSC, was recently promoted to be H.R. McMaster’s personal aide. Ciaramella will have unfettered access to McMaster’s conversations with foreign leaders.
Ciaramella’s ascension is surprising considering pro-Trump sources within the Obama administration disclosed to me in December, 2016 that Ciaramella’s helped draft Susan Rice’s anti-Trump talking points before the Inauguration …
President Trump’s America First foreign policy has been called “naive” by McMaster, who wants to make the NSC Democrat again — an obvious joke among staffers as the NSC is overwhelming left wing …
In addition to stacking the NSC with pro-Susan Rice, anti-Trump figures, McMaster has also tried purging anyone loyal to Trump.
McMaster had the security clearance of Adam Lovinger revoked after Lovinger attended a bar mitzvah in Israel.
Pro-Trump Robin Townley also had his security clearance revoked without any good reason.
Townley had to leave his NSC post as a result.
On July 21, Bloomberg reported that McMaster had become aware of Cernovich:
“There’s no such thing as a holdover,” the national security adviser said, referring to the career professionals who stayed on the council after the presidential transition in January. McMaster went on to say that career staffers are loyal to the president.
He was responding to a series of tweets from the blogger Mike Cernovich, who singled out some lower-level staffers, by name, as alleged leakers. He was standing by the people who worked for him.
However, Bloomberg hinted that McMaster was being disingenuous in saying there were no holdovers:
And while it’s admirable when a boss backs his workers, this event also highlights McMaster’s own precarious position at the six-month mark of the Donald Trump administration. Behind the scenes, McMaster has had trouble replacing career staffers with new people from the Pentagon and the State Department. Until recently, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis had blocked many career public servants in their departments from being detailed to the National Security Council. This meant, in practice, that officials who served in Barack Obama’s White House who were supposed to return to their bureaucratic homes stayed on longer at the council than their initial terms.
On August 4, The Atlantic published an article, ‘The Pro-Trump Media’s Assault Against H.R. McMaster’, which, whilst left-wing (and pro-McMaster), is a rollicking read. It goes further in describing another meeting that McMaster held the same day he spoke to his staff:
According to two sources with direct knowledge of the meeting, McMaster also mentioned Cernovich at an NSC senior-directors meeting that day, which roughly 20 people attended. “He did bring it up and said, ‘This guy’s been targeting our people, he is posting personal information that has to have come from the inside,’” the source close to McMaster said. McMaster “really gets upset when he thinks people under his command, under his chain of command, are being unfairly attacked.”
The article says that McMaster fired Richard Higgins, a specialist in Islamic terror. The Atlantic says:
Higgins was fired for the memo he wrote, which he sent around using his government email account, a source familiar with the matter said. That was deemed an inappropriate use of government resources and contributed to him losing his job. (A source close to Higgins said he had only sent it from his personal computer to the office to print it.)
On August 4, Breitbart had more on Higgins:
Two weeks ago, he fired Rich Higgins, the NSC director of strategic planning after he penned a memo warning about globalists and Islamists undermining Trump’s agenda.
The article led with other McMaster news:
Two bombshell reports dropped on Thursday.
One, by Circa, said McMaster allowed Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice to keep her top secret security clearance without the president’s knowledge and despite reports she had unmasked Trump campaign and transition associates.
The other, by Bloomberg, said McMaster has concluded that Rice did nothing wrong in unmasking Trump associates.
A Washington Times report noted that Breitbart News “has published several stories this week calling into question Gen. McMaster’s actions.”
Interestingly, Cernovich said he was now backing off White House news. He says he wants to return to his original project and related book, Gorilla Mindset. Yet, could it be that his sources have dried up as they have lost their jobs? Who knows?
Former Trump campaign manager, Roger Stone, says the White House issued the statement without President Trump’s approval.
How does Stone know? Stone has not been in touch with Trump for some time now. Is it because the NYT said the statement came in an email and Trump famously said he does not use email? Did someone write the statement for the president? What is going on? Glenn Greenwald says that the ‘Goldman Boys’ and the ‘Generals’ have taken over, which attracted Julian Assange‘s attention. Hmm.
In any event, the Gateway Pundit says:
Here is President Trump describing Priebus, much like he describes McMaster, as a “good man.”
And we know what happened to Priebus.
Read the full transcript of Rich Higgins’ interview. McMaster does not want you to see this!
Of course, I had to read the transcript. It is excellent. Higgins knows his subject matter. I think you, too, will appreciate what he has to say. I hope he finds a job soon.
Once again, there was more news this week than I could shake a stick at. For anyone wondering, no one knows if Sessions stays or goes. More to come.