H.R. McMaster is reportedly on his way out as national security advisor, according to The Washington Post.
The Post report, based on five sources close to the situation, says that Trump never “personally gelled” with the three-star Army general, but wants to make the change in a way that ensures McMaster “is not humiliated and that there is a strong successor lined up.”
The move follows the president’s dismissal of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and the resignation of economic adviser Gary Cohn, who were both replaced by close allies of the president in Mike Pompeo and Larry Kudlow.
“There will always be change,” Trump told reporters on Thursday. “And I think you want to see change. I want to also see different ideas.”
Earlier this month, NBC reported that chief of staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made plans at Trump’s direction to replace McMaster with auto industry executive Stephen Biegun. According to The Washington Post, the president believes his national security advisor is “too rigid and that his briefings go on too long and seem irrelevant.”
The latest report cites other replacement candidates, including former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and National Security Council chief of staff Keith Kellogg, who currently travels with the president and is someone Trump enjoys spending time with.
While McMaster would likely bounce back to his three-star general status with the Army, some White House staffers would love to see the national security advisor promoted to a fourth star or another “comfortable landing spot” in order to “show that someone can serve in the Trump administration without suffering severe damage to their reputation,” the Post reports.
UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders disputed on Twitter Thursday night The Washington Post’s report. In it, she cited the president and McMaster’s “good working relationship.”
Just spoke to @POTUS and Gen. H.R. McMaster – contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the NSC.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) March 16, 2018