As rumors of an exodus swirl, White House pushes back

Aaron Brown
March 17, 2018

Donald Trump has made a decision to sack National Security Advisor H R McMaster after complaining that his intelligence briefings are too long, according to reports.

In recent days, reports have said the president is eyeing possible replacements for McMaster due to differences between the two.

That put McMaster in the crossfire in dealing with Trump's demands for bold but fraught policy actions like exiting the Iran deal, punishing Pakistan for not more aggressively going after terror groups, and moving the USA embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Staff secretary Rob Porter, communications director Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksJohn Kelly - like this whole White House - is done Mueller interviews former Trump legal spokesman: report Liberals undermine #MeToo with partisan attacks MORE and John McEntee, Trump's personal assistant, are among the White House staffers who have left the administration in the last six weeks alone.

Trump fired State Secretary Rex Tillerson Tuesday, replacing him with Mike Pompeo, the current chief of the Central Intelligence Agency.

But the lack of any resolution to the reports of coming firings is leaving numerous president's top advisers in a kind of political limbo that threatens to undermine their effectiveness until their fates are revealed, one way or the other.

McMaster has said that Trump wants him to stay on through November's midterms, the Journal reports.

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While announcing Tillerson's ouster Tuesday, Trump told the media, "I'm really at a point where we're getting very close to having the cabinet and other things that I want".

Trump raised eyebrows on Tuesday when he unexpectedly announced in a tweet that he had fired Tillerson and tapped CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe CIA may need to call White House to clarify Russian Federation meddling Intel agencies to brief officials from all 50 states on election threats Russian Federation probe complicating House hearing on threats facing USA: report MORE as his next secretary of State. "He asked me to pass that message along to Gen. McMaster". When McMaster arrived, he studied how previous national security advisers had operated and how President Dwight Eisenhower had envisioned the role of the NSC director when he created the White House council.

Some in the White House have been reluctant to oust McMaster from his national security perch until he has a promotion to four-star rank or other comfortable landing spot, aides said.

Mattis similarly has bucked or demurred on some of the president's policy orders, yet relative to McMaster he has been protected from Trump's direct ire by the distance between the West Wing and the Pentagon and their less-frequent meetings.

With a laugh, Trump said: "Who's next?".

Since the beginning of President Trump's time in office, to even before during his campaign, Trump has had his fair share of position openings. "That's just not in [Trump's] lexicon", he said.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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