Tags: Trump Administration | kelly | bannon | mcmaster

Weekly Standard: Kelly's Hiring May Fire Up NSC 'Civil War'

Image: Weekly Standard: Kelly's Hiring May Fire Up NSC 'Civil War'
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By    |   Saturday, 05 Aug 2017 12:21 PM

The "civil war" between National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and President Donald Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, may be gearing up even more under new Chief of Staff John Kelly, even though the retired four-star Marine Corps general is trying to bring discipline to the West Wing.

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. 

Firing back, Bannon's allies both inside and out of the Trump administration have started rumors that McMaster is leaving the White House and that he opposes President Donald Trump on most foreign policy issues.

On Friday, The Daily Caller  reported in an exclusive that it had spoken with two former National Security Council officials, who told them that "everything the president wants to do, McMaster opposes."

"Trump wants to get us out of Afghanistan — McMaster wants to go in," one of the sources said. "Trump wants to get us out of Syria — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to deal with the China issue — McMaster doesn't. Trump wants to deal with the Islam issue — McMaster doesn't. You know, across the board, we want to get rid of the Iran deal — McMaster doesn't."

According to another report, Defense Secretary James Mattis had to intervene in an argument between Bannon and McMaster over Afghanistan. 

While some of the firings were before Kelly took office, on Wednesday, McMaster fired NSC’s Senior Director for Intelligence Ezra Cohen-Watnick in a move that had been blocked by both Bannon and Trump in the past, notes The Weekly Standard.

Last week, McMaster fired Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top Middle East adviser, who some White House aides considered to be too close with Bannon. On July 21, Rich Higgins, a former Pentagon aide and another NSC official close to Bannon, was fired after writing and circulating a memo accusing  the "deep state," "globalists," and "bankers" with aligning with "Islamists" to oppose Trump.

Bannon's allies have been pushing back against McMaster as well, notes The Weekly Standard. Conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham this past week tweeted an article from months ago about McMaster breaking with the Trump administration on the Islam.

Another ally, blogger Mike Cernovich, has been tweeting links to McMasterLeaks, dedicated to showing examples of the lieutenant general undermining Trump. The blogger has not confirmed whether he owns the website.

The Weekly Standard notes that Bannon has been thinking about leaving his job at the White House, and after Trump fired Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who was close with Bannon, McMaster could help push the former Breitbart News owner out.

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The "civil war" between National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and President Donald Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, may be gearing up even more under new Chief of Staff John Kelly, even though the retired four-star Marine Corps general is trying to bring discipline...
kelly, bannon, mcmaster
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2017-21-05
Saturday, 05 Aug 2017 12:21 PM
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