Trump defends McMaster as conservatives seek his dismissal

EXCLUSIVE: 'Everything The President Wants To Do, McMaster Opposes,' Former NSC Official Says

President Trump gave H.R. McMaster a vote of confidence after the national security adviser's rivals seized on a letter McMaster sent to his Obama predecessor Susan Rice giving her continued access to classified information.

In a recent Situation Room meeting, the President - who is frustrated by his options in Afghanistan - raised the idea of firing the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan and replacing him with General McMaster, according to officials with knowledge of the discussion. "Meanwhile, blogger Mike Cernovich has been tweeting links to a website called McMasterLeaks, which contains a single blog post with multiple examples of how McMaster is undermining Trump". The two are in conflict with promises he made during the 2016 election. "What he will say to the president will pretty much reflect whatever recommendations McMaster will make". And n ational-security experts broadly agree that Rice's reported requests to identify who was speaking with the foreign officials before Trump was inaugurated were neither unusual nor against the law.

Despite those differences, McMaster organized and attended a farewell reception for Harvey this week and voiced support for his pursuit of a new job in the Trump administration.

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". He has mandated that all of Trump's aides, including members of his family, report through him, a bid to manage the stream of information to the President.

Trump addressed the attacks against McMaster in a statement on Friday.

Kelly, in his first week, has worked to institute a tighter order that discourages the kind of backstabbing that pervaded the first six months of Trump's presidency.

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Bannon is responding with media allies outside the White House.

"The identities of USA persons may be released under two circumstances: 1) the identity is needed to make sense of the intercept; 2) if a crime is involved in the conversation", said Robert Deitz, a former senior counselor to the CIA director and former general counsel at the National Security Agency.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) revealed that Bannon and McMaster have "very forceful differences" during NSC meetings.

Waltz said there have always been factions in the Republican Party, with those who hold isolationist views and those who want to lead overseas, and that's what this "tension" appears to be centered on.

There's now open speculation as to whether Steve Bannon could be the next Trump staffer to be ousted. Another major task was in keeping Trump's attention during security briefings.

"We moved very quickly from news to intelligence to policy with very little clarity on which lanes we were in", another official told WaPo.

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