A Major White House Official is on Their Way out the Door
No sooner had we recovered from the surprising announcement that White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was resigning from the job than a new report comes along suggesting that national security adviser H.R. McMaster might be following her out the door. According to NBC News, several sources insist that the White House is preparing to replace the three-star general as early as next month with someone new – possibly Ford Motor Company executive Stephen Biegun.
In an interview on MSNBC Thursday, [Former Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice called McMaster “one of the best generals of his generation.”
“He’s doing a really fine job as national security adviser,” she said. “I have no idea about his future in that job. I hope he stays, he’s really good.”
Rice called Biegun “an outstanding person.”
“He’s an expert in foreign policy and of course has spent time in the private sector and obviously he would be very, very good,” she said. “But let’s wait and see because H.R. McMaster is still in the job and he’s doing a really fine job.”
Two people close to Biegun said he would need several weeks to get his financial affairs in order to be able to join the administration this spring.
The White House has not confirmed the story and has indeed slammed it as more “fake news” from NBC. Perhaps it is.
But at the end of the day, the relationship between McMaster and Trump has never completely gelled and we’ve always gotten the feeling that the general would be more comfortable with an Obama-style foreign policy agenda than with Trump’s “America First” approach to security, war, and international relations. If he’s on the way out, we wouldn’t be even a little bit surprised.
McMaster and Trump have clashed over the Iran nuclear deal, the administration’s approach to Islam, the investigation into Russia’s election interference, and the war in Afghanistan, to name but a few issues. Trump went from Michael Flynn, who seemed fully in sync with the president’s nationalist approach, to McMaster, who very much felt like one of the “Obama holdovers” he yearned to protect from Trump’s wrath.
Ultimately, Trump needs someone as national security adviser who is on the same page. No one in the Pentagon (or the public) ever believed that they were hearing “from Trump” when McMaster spoke about foreign policy or national security issues. This kind of division just leads to chaos and confusion. The president should find someone who fully embraces his agenda and will not publicly “go rogue” when they disagree with one of Trump’s decisions. Maybe Biegun is that guy, but we’ll see.