Trump may send HR McMaster to take over the command in Afghanistan

A White House statement said that "General McMaster appreciates the good work accomplished in the NSC's Intelligence directorate under Ezra Cohen's leadership".

These personnel changes come amid an Atlantic report that an NSC staffer was sacked last month after a troubling memo he wrote arguing that "globalists", Islamists, and the "deep state" are working to undermine President Trump's agenda, and threatening the country.

"A different set of experiences is best-suited to carrying that work forward", a White House official told media, saying Cohen-Watnick would continue to make "many further significant contributions to national security" as part of the Trump administration.

Within days of the recertification, it was reported that Trump had authorized the establishment of a rival group within the White House, led by his top strategic adviser, Steve Bannon, that would seek a path out of the deal.

Curiously, it was not President Donald Trump who played a crucial role in Cohen-Watnick's firing. First to go was K.T. McFarland, a former Fox News analyst, who was pushed out as deputy national security adviser in May and nominated to be ambassador to Singapore. The three-star general has recently been ousting some of the more conspiratorial-minded holdovers from Mike Flynn's short tenure as national-security adviser.

President Donald Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, has reportedly concluded that his predecessor, Susan Rice, did nothing wrong when she tried to learn the identities of officials on Trump's transition team who were mentioned in United States intelligence reports previous year.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the 31-year-old hired by retired Lt. Gen. But the White House officials told Circa that under the current congressional investigation, and given President Trump's ongoing concern that members of his team were unmasked, Rice's clearance should have been limited to congressional testimony only or revoked until the end of the investigation.

Updated | Another top White House National Security Council official has been fired in the continuing purge of hard-right ideologues that began with the departure of former Lieutenant General Michael Flynn in February.

It was revealed on Wednesday in news reports that Rich Higgins, who served as director for strategic planning at the NSC, was sacked July 21.

McMaster had previously tried to remove Cohen-Watnick from the National Security Council but was overruled by Trump, who heeded interventions on Cohen-Watnick's behalf by Bannon and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is the senior administration official responsible for Middle East policy.

In a June tweet, Trump called the revelation that Rice and other Obama senior officials were unmasking members of his team the "big story... the "unmasking and surveillance" that took place during the Obama administration".

In early April, reports emerged that Rice on several occasions requested the identities of "masked" USA persons in intelligence reports linked to President Donald Trump's transition and campaign.


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