White House faces rumours about top security aide's exit

Mar 05, 2018, 00:28
White House faces rumours about top security aide's exit

National security advisor H.R. McMaster could leave the White House as early as next month, which would mark only the latest in a series of Trump administration departures, NBC News reported Thursday.

"As the president said yesterday in the Oval Office to a number of people, he thinks he's doing a great job", she said.

The economic advisor publicly criticized the administration and reportedly drafted a letter of resignation following the president's response to Charlottesville-where Trump blamed "both sides" for terrorist attacks executed by white supremacists-but stayed on to helm tax reform and infrastructure initiatives. Stephen Biegun, who had served as a staff member under Condoleezza Rice under the George W. Bush administration is being considered as the top choice for the next security advisor.

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Trump lashed out at McMaster after the General said there was "incontrovertible" evidence that Russian Federation had interfered in the US election.

Two sources with knowledge of the matter said McMaster has talked to senior leadership at the Hoover Institution about a position there once he finishes at the White House.

Sanders' comments came a day after the White House pushed back against an MSNBC report that Trump is planning to imminently replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

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Speaking to reporters, Sanders said Trump thinks McMaster is doing a "great job" and that the security adviser "isn't going anywhere".

Secretary of Defense James Mattis' office referred all questions regarding personnel matters to the White House.

A White House spokesman was less definitive on the report, casting doubt on it but not issuing a full denial. The president has also begun considering candidates to succeed McMaster as national security adviser, a post which does not require Senate confirmation, the sources told ABC News. Now Donald Trump is facing a shrinking circle of trusted advisers and a staff that's grim about any prospect of a reset.

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Last year, McMaster replaced Michael Flynn, who resigned after less than a month on the job because he lied to Vice President Pence about his business connections with Russia and pro-Russian politicians in the Ukraine.

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