Report: Trump ‘Cools’ On McMaster Because He’s Not ‘Deferential’

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump’s relationship with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster may be fraying, Mike Allen of Axios reports.

“We hear Trump has cooled on McMaster because he’s not sufficiently deferential,” Allen declared. His report appears to corroborate a similar May 8 account from Bloomberg’s Eli Lake that cited multiple White House sources saying Trump is “disillusioned” with McMaster.

McMaster does not give Trump “a chance to ask questions during briefings” and at times “lectures” Trump, according to Lake. Trump also reportedly complained to associates that McMaster was “undermining” his policy and has even privately expressed regret at hiring the lieutenant general.

Allen’s report also seemingly verifies the tidbit citing a White House source saying Trump “pines for the days of the booted Mike Flynn as head of the National Security Council.”

Lake traced the roots of the tension to Trump’s first major address before Congress:

The first conflict between McMaster and Trump was about the major speech the president delivered at the end of February to a joint session of Congress. McMaster pleaded with the president not to use phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” He sent memos throughout the government complaining about a draft of that speech that included the phrase. But the phrase remained. When Trump delivered the speech, he echoed his campaign rhetoric by emphasizing each word: “Radical.” “Islamic.” “Terrorism.”

The dispute lengthened after McMaster reportedly refused to fire some Obama administration holdovers within the National Security Council listed by Trump loyalists within the White House. Lake reported that McMaster “refused to fire anyone on the list and asserted that he had the authority to fire and hire National Security Council staff.”

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