National Insecurity: Should McMaster Go As NSC Advisor?

Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Joe Alton Contributor
Font Size:

National Security Council (NSC) Advisor Gen. Herbert R. McMaster has been working with the White House since Gen. Mike Flynn was ousted shortly after the inauguration. Since that time, the ship of state has been steadily sinking as a result of a large number of “leaks”, with the consequence often being a number of high-profile firings of administration officials. With all these generals advising the president, the end result has been, well, general disarray.

The latest set of leaks, this time to the Washington Post, included transcripts of conversations by President Trump with world leaders, most notably the presidents of Mexico and Australia. You might think, ok, just another juicy news story for the biased media. It’s more than that, however. A leak of this type essentially robs the president of the ability to conduct confidential business (the most likely way, in my opinion, that things get accomplished). Perhaps worse, it’s a signal to presidents and prime ministers that a private dialogue with Mr. Trump is likely to be front page news the next day. The WaPo leak means the era of the honest exchange of views between our chief executive and those of other nations is essentially over. As the Post is fond of saying “Democracy dies in darkness”; well, you can also die of exposure.

General McMaster has a long history of being an establishment guy, a team player that can work with anyone. As such, he’s been loathe to drop Obama administration holdovers (the most likely to be leakers). That, in itself, is bad enough, but McMaster has also been actively firing a series of Trump “America First” loyalists. I could be wrong, but this is probably not the best way to implement the president’s agenda. Meanwhile, Valerie Jarrett (Obama consigliere) and Ben Rhodes (Iran nuclear deal spinner) still have their people in the National Security Council. McMaster believes these people are loyal to the president, any president, and are apolitical. But this is 2017, and nobody is apolitical anymore. Just ask Special Counsel Mueller.

The general’s actions really shouldn’t be a surprise. McMaster doesn’t agree with many of the goals of the Trump Administration, especially in the Middle East. Caroline Glick reports at Israpundit.com that McMaster was behind some strange doings during the President’s trip to Israel, such as not allowing Trump to be seen with Israeli officials at the Western Wall. Pro-Israel, pro-Trump advisors are having security clearances revoked, while Susan Rice(!) retains hers from her tenure with Obama. Anti-Iran Trumpists like Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Colonel Derek Harvey are dropped from the NSC, leaving less supporters of the president and more holdovers like Robert Malley (Obama’s advisor on ISIS) in the henhouse. General McMaster was even uncomfortable with the President saying the words “Radical Islamic Terrorism” in his speeches.

It makes you wonder what President Trump was thinking when he hired General McMaster. Here’s what I think: He’s a big fan of the military and was in a jam when Mike Flynn was tarred and feathered in the press. He needed someone with credentials, and McMaster was recommended for the post…by Senator John McCain. If that didn’t raise the red flag, the flurry of congratulatory statements from congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Morning Joe crew, and Susan Rice should have. Media Matters, a far-left political action group partially funded by George Soros, has gone out of its way to defend the General from his detractors.

Perhaps ousting General Flynn’s people is just your average everyday political purge, so that McMaster can feel comfortable. You know, like how the new dominant lion kills the cubs of the deposed alpha male, so that he can feel comfortable. Unfortunately, those were Donald Trump’s cubs, too. And the leaks keep coming. The president supports McMaster for now, but if the president expects to be leader of the pride for much longer, he’d best do some house-cleaning.

What’s the best strategy to eliminate leaks? How about getting rid of all the Obama holdovers? It doesn’t take a genius to know that most leaks are coming from Anti-Trump forces at the NSC and elsewhere in the White House. Thank them for their service and politely show them the door. Populate the place with people that share your world view. If every other president can have his partisans in there, so can you. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that General McMaster is one of those people.

Therefore, Mr. President, you should show General McMaster the door as well. One more high-profile firing won’t generate any more outrage than the usual daily dose you’re getting now. The leaks have to stop, especially at the National Security Council. If McMaster is captain of that ship, he must take responsibility for the leaks that are sinking it.