President Trump defied his base Friday and defended under-fire national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster from accusations that he is anti-Israel and opposed to the president’s agenda — as calls for his firing among conservatives heat up.
“General McMaster and I are working very well together,” Trump said in a statement emailed to the New York Times. “He is a good man and very pro-Israel. I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country.”
Senior Adviser and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner also backed the globalist general: “General McMaster is a true public servant and a tremendous asset for the president and the administration,” he said.
“He has created and oversees a very thorough and clear process for the agencies to work together to give the president credible options to advance the president’s priorities for America’s foreign policy,” Kushner added.
McMaster replaced Gen. Michael Flynn after Flynn resigned in February over his accounts of a conservation with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. But McMaster has faced accusations he is anti-Israel due to his support of the Iran nuclear deal and reports that he refers to Israel as “the occupying power.”
The Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick claimed that McMaster’s bias came out during Trump’s visit to Israel:
What hasn’t been reported is that it was McMaster who pressured Trump to agree not to let Netanyahu accompany him to the Western Wall. At the time, I and other reporters were led to believe that this was the decision of rogue anti-Israel officers at the US consulate in Jerusalem. But it wasn’t. It was McMaster.
In February McMaster was said to have told his staff he is not fond of the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” and told them not to use it in the office. His justification was allegedly that terrorists are “un-Islamic” — a common talking point on the left.
But he enraged Trump’s base this week then he fired Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council — the third conservative departure in a week. He then reportedly came to the astonishing conclusion that former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice did nothing wrong by unmasking Trump campaign officials during the transition — a belief firmly at odds with past statements by Trump.
McMaster’s various moves have been noticed by Trump’s base, with #FireMcMaster becoming a trending hashtag on Twitter, and a regular topic on conservative news sites — including Breitbart News. The Times reported that the hashtag had been tweeted at least 50,000 times since Wednesday.
— Wayne Dupree 🎧 (@WayneDupreeShow) August 4, 2017
— Super Elite 🇺🇸 Katherine Byrd❌ (@peaceandjoy101) August 4, 2017
Fox News pundit Sean Hannity asked whether McMaster needed to be fired over his reported treatment of the Susan Rice scandal.
What is this? Does H.R. McMaster need to go? Susan Rice? Omg https://t.co/yvw9thaiah
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) August 3, 2017
The Times noted that Frank Gaffney Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy, had called McMaster “insubordinate to his commander in chief” in areas such as Islamic terrorism.
“General McMaster has to be fired because he is the captain of the ship and he has allowed that ship to get out of control and he can no longer be trusted with that responsibility,” Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, told the Times.
Moreover, Circa reported on Monday that McMaster allowed former President Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice to keep her security clearance despite the fact that she unmasked members of President Trump’s team and other American citizens. McMaster “sent an official letter giving Susan Rice unfettered and continuing access to classified information and waiving her “need-to-know” requirement on anything she viewed or received during her tenure,” Circa confirmed.
In a sign that conservatives may be onto something in their criticism of McMaster, the hard-left Media Matters came out in defense of the general, saying he was under attack by “fake news purveyors” and “Twitter trolls.”
Despite Trump’s public support for McMaster, it is far from clear that the national security adviser is on solid ground. The Times reported Wednesday that Trump is considering replacing McMaster with CIA Director Mike Pompeo — and sending McMaster to Afghanistan.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY