Depending on your preferred sources for news, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is either an anti-Israel, anti-Trump mole who has infiltrated the White House to push a pro-Iran agenda or he’s the victim of an attempted purge by someone in the White House, most likely Steve Bannon and/or Jared Kushner. It’s also very possible that both are true.
All the ire against McMaster has been building quietly for some time, but the removal of Ezra Cohen-Watnick from the NSC seems to be the last straw. Cohen-Watnick is a Trump loyalist who was one of the sources of the leaked intelligence reports claiming Trump and his associates were being wiretapped by the Obama administration.
To add fuel to the fire, McMaster seems to be siding with Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice, claiming that she did nothing wrong in the recent unmasking scandal and can keep her security clearance. President Trump was reportedly unaware of McMaster’s action.
Reactions from conservative media have been mixed. Some passionately support his removal from the post:
What is this? Does H.R. McMaster need to go? Susan Rice? Omg https://t.co/yvw9thaiah
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) August 3, 2017
H.R. McMaster let unmasking liar Susan Rice keep her top-secret security clearance!
— Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) August 3, 2017
America needs Rich Higgins in office, not HR McMaster.
— Frank Gaffney (@frankgaffney) August 3, 2017
McMaster is an utter disgrace and an islamo-fascist. If Trump doesnt fire him now his presidency is worthless https://t.co/n1o7umZlW9
— Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) August 3, 2017
“The only option President Trump has is to clean house at the National Security Council, starting at the top with General McMaster,” said Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning. “The threat posed to the country by the National Security Council leaking requires immediate and swift action.”
Predictably, alt-right news outlets Breitbart and Gateway Pundit are up in arms. Not-so-predictably, Trump supporter and rabble-rouser-extraordinaire Matt Drudge has nothing posted about McMaster on his site as of the time of this writing.
Others are coming to his defense, including a group of national security analysts at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
In national security adviser H.R. McMaster, the president has a leader of the National Security Council who has made a career of fighting for national security interests that involve very real sacrifice.
McMaster is someone who can make the tough calls. He is the right leader for a tough, determined president who only wants the best for the American people.
Ian Tuttle at National Review calls claims that McMaster is an “Islamist” are absurd:
H. R. McMaster is far from perfect. His preference for keeping the Iran deal in place seems to this observer a significant mistake, for example. However, for those who have consecrated themselves to the priestly rites of Donald Trump’s cult of personality, McMaster’s staffing changes constitute nothing short of blasphemy.
Here’s what we know for certain. McMaster is not like his short-term predecessor Michael Flynn. That means that he’s not a blind supporter of the President. That also means that the people Flynn brought on board, including Cohen-Watnick, are at risk if they don’t toe the line that McMaster is setting. The President and the alt-right might not approve, but it’s likely better for America to have someone in the role who isn’t afraid to go against the President from time to time.
What’s not certain is the source of the attacks. It’s easy to see when a narrative is being trumpeted by Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, or both. One need only follow the alt-right Twitter buzz and the associated publications. When they put on a full-court press, it’s very likely that the puppetmasters in the White House made some calls. In most cases, this is a very bad thing. It’s part of the “fake news” cycle that the President often discusses, though from the opposite end of the spectrum. From Pizzagate to Seth Rich to Ted Cruz’s dad killed JFK, these stories are usually barely more than propaganda. With McMaster, they may actually be on the right side of the fence. Why? Israel.
Reports that McMaster is truly unsympathetic of Israel are more striking than the Rice situation or the recent firings. Allegations that McMaster called Israel “illegitimate” and an “occupying power” are greatly disturbing.
“McMaster constantly refers to the existence of a Palestinian state before 1947,” a senior West Wing official tells CR (there was never an independent Palestinian state), adding that McMaster describes Israel as an “illegitimate,” “occupying power.”
We’ve had eight years of an administration bent on the weakening of Israel and America’s relationship with the Jewish state. President Trump has been off-and-on regarding Israel, sometimes voicing full support and sometimes failing to do as promised. We can ill-afford any voices whispering more negatives in his ear about the only free democracy and true American ally in the Middle East.