'A Good Man.' Donald Trump Defends National Security Adviser Amid Criticism

White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci

White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci

Contradictory attacks accused McMaster of both being controlled by Jews, and not being sufficiently supportive of Israel.

Also on Thursday, the newest Trump cheerleading right-wing website Circa published a leaked letter written earlier this year extending former national security adviser Susan Rice's security clearance. "A newly emboldened H.R. McMaster, purging Bannonites with the backing of John Kelly (and the president), could hasten his exit".

A senior White House official also told the New York Times that McMaster still has Trump's "total confidence", but that shouldn't be taken very seriously.

A day after news of Cohen-Watnick's dismal broke, the Daily Caller ran an "exclusive" that cited unnamed former senior NSC officials who claimed, "Everything the president wants to do, McMaster opposes".

According to another report, Defense Secretary James Mattis had to intervene in an argument between Bannon and McMaster over Afghanistan. Higgins had been an ally of senior White House adviser Steve Bannon. McMaster has sought to convince Trump on a plan that would modestly increase troops levels, but Trump has remained resistant.

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. His allies hope Kelly's arrival in the West Wing, and his insistence on adhering to a rigid chain of command, will reinforce McMaster's authority among the national security ranks.

Politico reported on Tuesday that McMaster also managed to fire top White House intelligence aide Ezra Cohen-Watnick from the NSC, who was previously described by The Atlantic as essentially un-fireable. This, despite accusations of her "unmasking" Trump transition team members who's names were blacked out in national security reports.

Iran slams United States sanctions bill as 'regressive', 'unlawful'
Iran says its missiles are purely defensive and could not carry nuclear arms because the country has promised not to develop them. The 2015 nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was signed between Iran and six other major world powers.

Rice's security clearance should have been limited to congressional testimony only or revoked until the end of the investigation, White House officials told Circa.

It was the latest step to remove officials who came to the White House under Flynn. Harvey was originally brought in to the NSC by Flynn. Trump's military advisers reportedly offered to arrange a meeting between the president and the general in order to help ease concerns, but Trump did not meet him. "And you have, I think, someone who is active in a way that ... is not in the interest of the Russian people". "A different discipline", said Mick Mulvaney, the director of Trump's Office of Management and Budget.

Kelly has also sought to tamp down on the type of death-by-leak that now is plaguing his former military colleague.

"Trump wants to get us out of Afghanistan - McMaster wants to go in", one of the sources said.

Those individuals were responsible for politicizing USA national security policy, critics say. That's just not what he does.

"The president's already made some important decisions on Afghanistan", he said. "In fact, they would have their security clearance and right to "need-to-know" stripped".

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