Retired Army Colonel Pete Mansoor, who worked closely with McMaster, told Politico that "there is a split in the White House between the Bannon camp of ideologues and the McMaster-Mattis-Tillerson camp of more centrist intellectuals". Trump wants to get us out of Afghanistan - McMaster wants to go in.
U.S. President Donald Trump's doubts about the war in Afghanistan has led to a delay in completing a new U.S. strategy in South Asia, skepticism that included a suggestion that the U.S. military commander in the region be fired, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. But multiple officials told BuzzFeed News that the main factors were differences between McMaster and Harvey on how the Middle East directorate should be managed as well as some heated discussions about Iran's presence in Syria during policy coordinating meetings. Trump wants to deal with the China issue - McMaster doesn't. Rice has been accused by the president, who has cited no evidence, of involvement in attempts to unmask Trump officials wiretapped by US intelligence agencies during last year's election. McMaster accompanied Trump to Israel last May, during which he had a three-hour conversation with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem.
Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the 31-year old senior director for intelligence programs at the National Security Council (NSC), was ousted on Thursday. McMaster tried to fire Cohen-Watnick earlier this year but was stymied by Bannon and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who came to his defense.
General McMaster is a true public servant and a tremendous asset for the president and the administration. "He's one of the few people who can articulate Trump's vision effectively", an official told the website.
"He is a good man and very pro-Israel".
Nearly one month after Lake broke that story, McMaster appears to have sent a letter to Rice informing her that she could maintain her security clearance, according to the conservative news outlet Circa, which obtained a copy of the letter. Tech groups rip Trump immigration plan Russian PM: New sanctions amount to "full-scale trade war" America's divisions: The greatest strategic vulnerability of our time MORE's national security adviser, sparking outrage among some on the right on social media, who started using the hashtag #FireMcMaster.
The changes at the NSC come as the White House has seen a number of other high-profile staff changes: chief of staff Reince Priebus resigned last week and was replaced by John Kelly; press secretary Sean Spicer resigned and was replaced by Sarah Sanders; and newly tapped communications director Anthony Scaramucci was forced out after just 11 days on the job.
Some say McMaster's "purge" is part of a larger conflict in the White House between those committed to "draining the swamp,"' and "bureaucratic interests" trying to maintain establishment control over policy.