Trump’s reshuffle: the McMaster Chronicles — Part 5 (the end)

This post concludes the McMaster Chronicles.

Previous instalments are as follows: Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Where we left off in December 2017, The Intercept had published an article that asserted there was an active coup against President Trump in which it was thought HR McMaster was participating by relaying information via a burner phone directly to a Soros-owned facility.

Consequently, Erik (Blackwater) Prince, Oliver North (of Iran-Contra) and Mike Pompeo were working on a plan to get private intelligence to Trump that would bypass normal intel channels.

Part of me cannot help but think of the end of this story and McMaster’s father’s brutal death. Was there some sort of information he was to gather for the deep state and couldn’t do it?

In my last post, I inadvertently omitted a news item from August 2017, which said that McMaster wrote a blurb for a book, by U.S. military officer Youssef H. Aboul-Enein and is titled Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat. Breitbart reported:

The book’s author further demanded that any American soldier who “desecrates” the Quran be ejected from the foreign country of deployment, relieved of duty and turned over to a military judge for “punishment” …

McMaster wrote in his blurb for the book: “Militant Islamist Ideology deserves a wide readership among all those concerned with the problem of transnational terrorism, their ideology, and our efforts to combat those organizations that pose a serious threat to current and future generations of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”

Maybe he missed the part about kissing a certain book:

A book on terrorism endorsed and touted by H.R. McMaster, the embattled White House National Security Adviser, calls on the U.S. military to respond to any “desecrations” of the Quran by service members with an apology ceremony, and advocates kissing a new copy of the Quran before presenting the Islamic text to the local Muslim public.

Moving on to 2018, a January 9 article in The Atlantic said that, with regard to the world’s hot spots, McMaster favours a globalist view while Trump thinks that such a model is now obsolete:

McMaster’s spirited defense of the U.S.-led international system seems at odds with Trump’s challenges to that system. A man who has credited the post-World War II order with averting great-power conflict for seven decades works just paces away in the West Wing from a boss who has reportedly concluded that the postwar order is “not working at all.” But each advocates the rugged pursuit of U.S. interests in a rough-and-tumble world—which, judging by their rhetoric on North Korea, apparently means seriously considering the use of force as a last resort.

I do not think Trump supporters understood what a globalist McMaster is. It seems they latched onto both men’s ‘rugged pursuit of US interests’ and left it at that.

In February, McMaster spoke at the Munich Security Conference. Several Russian officials attended. Wikipedia tells us:

McMaster said that it is now “incontrovertible” Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

That was the day after a federal grand jury indicted more than a dozen Russians in connection with the interference.

On March 15, 2018, the Washington Post reported that Trump was ‘comfortable’ with dismissing McMaster, along with several others in his cabinet:

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.

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, these people said.

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.

By that time, Rex Tillerson had left and Mike Pompeo was acting secretary of state. Larry Kudlow had just replaced Gary Cohn as top economic adviser.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied that Trump was moving against McMaster. WaPo included her tweet in their article:

Just spoke @POTUS and Gen H.R. McMaster. Contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the NSC.

That rather reminds me of what Tony Blair so often said just before his advisers were sacked.

WaPo maintained that Trump had already asked chief of staff John Kelly to find a replacement for McMaster:

Trump recently told Kelly that he wants McMaster out and asked for help weighing replacement options, according to two people familiar with their conversations. The president has complained that McMaster is too rigid and that his briefings go on too long and seem irrelevant.

Several candidates have emerged as possible McMaster replacements, including John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Keith Kellogg, the chief of staff of the National Security Council.

Kellogg travels with Trump on many domestic trips, in part because the president likes his company and thinks he is fun. Bolton has met with Trump several times and often agrees with the president’s instincts. Trump also thinks Bolton, who regularly praises the president on Fox News Channel, is good on television.

On March 22, Trump tweeted:

I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.

Trump praised McMaster for his work. Politico reported:

“H.R. McMaster has served his country with distinction for more than 30 years,” Trump said in the statement. “He has won many battles and his bravery and toughness are legendary. General McMaster’s leadership of the National Security Council staff has helped my administration accomplish great things to bolster America’s national security. He helped develop our America First National Security Strategy, revitalize our alliances in the Middle East, smash ISIS, bring North Korea to the table, and strengthen our nation’s prosperity.

“This work and those achievements will ensure that America builds on its economic and military advantages. I thank General McMaster and his family for their service and wish them the very best.”

McMaster and his wife Kathleen have three daughters.

McMaster took the opportunity to announce his retirement. From the Politico article:

McMaster, a three-star Army general, announced that he would retire from the military in the coming months.

“After thirty-four years of service to our nation, I am requesting retirement from the U.S. Army effective this summer after which I will leave public service,” he said. “Throughout my career it has been my greatest privilege to serve alongside extraordinary service members and dedicated civilians.

“I am thankful to President Donald J. Trump for the opportunity to serve him and our nation as national security advisor. I am grateful for the friendship and support of the members of the National Security Council who worked together to provide the President with the best options to protect and advance our national interests.”

Politico went further than most in describing the conflict between McMaster and Trump, yet acknowledged that his departure was easier than Tillerson’s:

McMaster’s exit brings an end to his uneven tenure as leader of the NSC, marked by internal clashes with the president and other top administration officials and months of swirling speculation about his looming departure.

He never quite meshed with the president, aides say, and at times skirmished with him on foreign policy matters.

“Everyone knew he’d be out eventually,” one senior administration official said, adding that the process was smoother than Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s impromptu ouster last week, and that McMaster was afforded a higher level of courtesy than Tillerson, who found out about his own firing when Trump tweeted about it.

Although Trump fans decry mainstream media’s reports, Politico says the president used them to his advantage with regard to McMaster:

Trump made the decision to replace McMaster earlier this month, and accelerated the process in the wake of news reports about his impending departure, another administration official said. The reports were making it difficult for McMaster to continue to lead the National Security Council on a daily basis, the official said, although the White House has in the past kept aides in place for months after rumors of their impending exits began circulating.

According to Politico, McMaster was sacked:

Trump offered Bolton the job during an Oval Office meeting in Thursday and Bolton accepted, the official said. Trump then called McMaster to inform him of the decision.

The camel that likely broke the camel’s back was McMaster’s remark at the Munich Security Conference in February:

Though most of their disagreements took place in private, McMaster was the subject of a public rebuke from Trump in February when he stated during a conference in Munich that evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections was “incontrovertible.”

“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,” Trump tweeted in response. “Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!”

Politico says that was the first time the tension between them became public. The article went on to say that McMaster did not seem to care:

McMaster remained outspoken in his views, and as recently as last week said that the administration should be tougher on Russia over its actions in Syria.


No one was surprised by the change, the official added, since the idea of McMaster’s leaving has been out there for so long. “I don’t know anyone who thought McMaster would be around beyond this summer,” the official said.

By April 16, Bolton’s arrival provoked several resignations. I’m wary of him, but his presence probably moved Obama holdovers out the door. CNN reported:

By the start of John Bolton’s second week as national security adviser, five top officials at the National Security Council had already resigned under pressure, been fired or decided to leave.

Dan Scavino, White House director of social media, tweeted that, according to a Washington Examiner article, those reporting to Bolton should be aware that he is out to target leakers. McMaster’s group was very leaky, as I explained in earlier posts.

However, by then, McMaster was no doubt preoccupied by the death of his father on April 13. On April 18, Philadelphia’s CBS3 reported:

According to the Philadelphia Department of Health, H.R. McMaster Sr., the father of Gen. H.R. McMaster, died on April 13 at the Cathedral Village Retirement Community located in the 600 block of East Cathedral Road.

The health department confirms he died of blunt impact trauma to the head and the manner of death was determined to be an accident.

But sources tell CBS3 that Philadelphia police and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office are investigating the possibility of institutional neglect after he fell.

“We are working closely with the Philadelphia Police Department to thoroughly and carefully review this tragic incident. This investigation is in the very early stages,” says the attorney general’s office in a statement.

The following day, Philadelphia’s 6ABC reported that HR McMaster Sr had been at the nursing facility recovering from a stroke:

The allegations are that McMaster Sr. fell, hit his head, was put in a chair and then died. He allegedly did not receive proper care.

Investigators are probing information from some staff members who informed the McMaster family that records were falsified pertaining to this death.

The article stated that Cathedral Village was co-operating with the enquiry. Meanwhile, McMaster’s younger sister Letitia McMaster issued a statement:

My brother and I are proud of my father’s service to his nation, which he began as a teenager when he volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army in combat during the Korean War. He lived a life of service and was known for his courage, toughness and compassion. We are deeply saddened by his loss.

He deserved treatment far better than he received at Cathedral Village. Our main concern is that we honor our father’s memory by working with those who will hold accountable those responsible and prevent others from suffering.

On May 9, 6ABC reported that a nurse has been charged with neglect and involuntary manslaughter (family and nurse photos at the link):

Christann Gainey, 30, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, neglect and falsifying documents following the April 13 death of the 84-year-old McMaster at Cathedral Village in Roxborough.

She faces up to 20 years in prison.

Investigators say Gainey, a licensed practical nurse who was contracted to work at the facility, failed to check on McMaster after a fall and falsified paperwork in the hours before his death …

At 11:30 pm. on April 12, McMaster was found on the floor of his room, apparently after falling.

The nurse assistant who found McMaster on the floor told police he helped McMaster into a wheelchair and told Gainey, the charge nurse, that McMaster had trouble communicating. McMaster was found to have open wounds on his right temple and right shoulder.

According to investigators, Gainey filled out a neurological flow sheet “as though she was conducting neurological evaluations of McMaster Sr., as required by facility policy.”

However, investigators say, surveillance video showed that Gainey did not actually conduct the evaluations, even though those checks were supposed to be done on a regular basis throughout the night and into the following days.

The nurse assistant said he was periodically with McMaster throughout the night and never saw anyone check his vitals or conduct any tests …

The assistant director of nursing arrived at the facility at 7:45 a.m., investigators say, and learned of McMaster’s death. She told police she saw an evaluation sheet that showed a check conducted at 7:20 a.m., well after McMaster was found dead.

When she asked Gainey about it, Gainey allegedly said, “Well, I falsified that one,” allegedly saying she “didn’t want the next nurse to have to do them.”

In charging Gainey, authorities say as an LPN she “failed to provide the services necessary to preserve McMaster’s health when she failed to conduct the required tests.”

On May 9, the New York Post reported that it wasn’t clear whether the LPN had legal representation. She could not be reached by phone.

The following day, the AP reported that she did have a lawyer and that she intended to plead not guilty.

I hope this case is covered in the media, because Q — thought to be a Trump administration intel team — posits there could be a connection between McMaster’s departure and his father’s death (not my graphic, by the way):

The End

4 comments for “Trump’s reshuffle: the McMaster Chronicles — Part 5 (the end)

  1. May 17, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    They invented the term “content rich” for your posts, CM.

    • May 22, 2018 at 1:36 am

      Thanks, James — much appreciated.

  2. Hereward Unbowed.
    May 18, 2018 at 12:59 am

    CM, I’ve come to this too late tonight, I’ll have to read it tomorrow and I shall look forward to the ‘journey’.

    • May 22, 2018 at 1:41 am

      Many thanks.

      ‘ … I’ll have to read it tomorrow …’ That’s okay. Thank you for the comment.

      If there is anything in the public domain about the case surrounding the elder McMaster’s death, I’ll be back with an update. (So far, there has been nothing.)

      In that regard, I do feel sorry for HR McMaster, his sister and their family. That is something everyone who puts a loved one into care fears the most.

Comments are closed.