In a momentous decision that will steer President Trump’s foreign policy toward a much harder line versus our enemies, Trump today said he is replacing National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster with George W. Bush-era UN Ambassador John Bolton.
Trump announced the move via Twitter.
I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.
With Bolton at NSC and Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, Trump now has in place two men who will reign unchallenged over U.S. foreign policy who each share a soberly realistic assessment of our enemies. The Bolton appointment probably means war with North Korea, given that he is not the least bit fooled by disingenuous offers by Kim Jong-Un to end his nuclear weapons program. And it may eventually mean some kind of confrontation with the leadership of Iran, whether through its overthrow or by war. And China as well will be confronted as it seeks to expand its power throughout the Western Pacific and beyond.
These are very grim things, of course. But Bolton and Pompeo recognize the world as it is and understand the need to confront existential problems like a nuclear Iran or a nuclear North Korea. Trump’s decision to give them power, it’s not too much to say, could save the world.
The people who have given us this situation are, foremost, the appeaser Barack Obama, and George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, each of whom chose not to aggressively confront the North Korean menace. Now it is left for Trump, Pompeo, and Bolton to clean up the mess. Thankfully, I believe, they will.
I figured I’d write a headline you won’t see this morning.
My God, there have been so many stories about National Security Council Director H.R. McMaster getting fired that all these “scoops” have become a very big fat YAWN.
Okay, okay, I get it, the guy is finished. Among the possible replacements being mentioned in various articles are former UN Ambassador John Bolton, a no-nonsense type who would be a great choice, as well as NSC Chief of Staff Keith Kellogg – two of my favorite names, Keith and Kellogg’s – Stephen Biegun, a Ford Motor Co. executive who previously served on the NSC. A new Bieguning.
H.R. McMaster’s slow-motion exit will remind some people of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, who was constantly reported to still be alive as he slowly made his way toward his Maker. Which prompted these famous Saturday Night Live wisecracks.
The White House is preparing to replace H.R. McMaster as national security adviser as early as next month in a move orchestrated by Chief of Staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis, according to five people familiar with the discussions.
The move would be the latest in a long string of staff shake-ups at the White House over the past year and comes after months of strained relations between the president and McMaster.
A leading candidate to become President Donald Trump’s third national security adviser is the auto industry executive Stephen Biegun, according to the officials.
Biegun, who currently serves as vice president of international governmental affairs for the Ford Motor Company, is no stranger to the White House. He served on the National Security Council staff from 2001 to 2003, including as a senior staffer for then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.
Rice introduced Biegun to Mattis, recommending him for a position in the administration, according to a close associate of Rice. After Mattis met with Biegun at a think tank event he was convinced Biegun would be a good fit for the national security adviser role, the associate said.
NSC spokesman Michael Anton responded by saying that he was just with the president and McMaster in the Oval Office. “President Trump said that the NBC News story is ‘fake news,’ and told McMaster that he is doing a great job,” Anton said.
He’s never been personally comfortable with the guy. According to one report I saw recently, Trump said aloud to the room while McMaster was briefing something to the effect of “Look how serious he is!”
And I don’t understand why McMaster, other than out of pique with Trump, would so triumphantly assert last week that Russia interfered in the election, something he well knows rankles the president.
“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,” Trump tweeted in response, a rare presidential rebuke to a top aide. Obama never had to do this with senior advisors, none of whom would dare diverge from the president.
With tensions flaring between President Donald Trump and national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the Pentagon is considering options that would allow the President to potentially move the three-star general out of his current role and back into the military, according to half a dozen defense and administration officials.
A search is quietly being conducted by the Pentagon to see if there is a four-star military job suited for McMaster, these officials said.
Several sources told CNN that the push for a replacement comes after months of personal tension between McMaster and Trump. The task of easing McMaster out of his role as national security adviser presents a unique challenge for the White House.
While administration officials have privately said the preference is to move McMaster into a position within the Army or Defense Department that qualifies as a promotion, some within the Pentagon feel he has become politicized in the White House and have expressed reservations about him returning to the military in a prominent role. Some defense officials caution that the President could also go as far as not to offer him a fourth star and force him to retire.
Maybe he’ll replace him with an H.R. who’s more fun and also knows a thing or two about security issues.
Mr. Trump, according to several administration officials, has been considering a shake-up that could include appointing Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, to take over as national security adviser, while sending General McMaster to command forces in Afghanistan. Such a move could earn General McMaster a fourth star.
NBC News reported on Wednesday that the president recently suggested that Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the commander of American-led forces in Afghanistan, be fired. White House officials have said the president has yet to decide on any new moves.
McMaster keeps getting rid of all these people who were appointed to the National Security Council by Michael Flynn. What McMaster seems to be forgetting is that Trump liked Flynn, fired him as NSC chief reluctantly, and sometimes muses that he should have kept him. McMaster would do well to remember that the next time he thinks about firing an “antiglobalist.” Because Trump is an anti-globalist.