President Trump has decided to sack National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, according to a bombshell breaking news report from the Washington Post late Thursday evening.
Citing “five people with knowledge of the plans,” Post reporters Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey, Philip Rucker, and Carol D. Leonnig confirm that the president “is now comfortable with ousting McMaster, with whom he never personally gelled, but is willing to take time executing the move because he wants to ensure both that the three-star Army general is not humiliated and that there is a strong successor lined up.”
The decision comes after weeks of chaotic turnover at the White House and across the administration. In just the last 10 days, the president has lost both his chief economic advisor, his top diplomatic officer, and now the man charged with assessing threats to American interests across the globe and recommending action to address them.
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Last week, Gary Cohn stepped down from his post leading the National Economic Council in protest after Trump decided to impose steel and aluminum tariffs against his advice and without notice. And on Tuesday of this week, he unceremoniously fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after Tillerson contradicted him on Russia’s role in the mysterious nerve agent attack in the UK.
But McMaster’s departure marks an even more ominous turn for Trump, who appears to be clearing the deck of the few remaining “adults in the room” who have managed to steer him away from most of his worst instincts during his first tumultuous year as president.
More from the Post:
For all of the evident disorder, Trump feels emboldened, advisers said — buoyed by what he views as triumphant decisions last week to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum and to agree to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The president is enjoying the process of assessing his team and making changes, tightening his inner circle to those he considers survivors and who respect his unconventional style, one senior White House official said.
In other words, the time honored “Team of Rivals” model of running an administration – whereby a president surrounds himself with experts in their respective fields who are smarter and more knowledgeable than he is, and then encourages them to challenge him in rigorous policy debates – is now completely out the window, if it ever was part of the process.
Trump has lived his life surrounded by loyalists hungry to associate with him for their own reasons, sycophants who owe whatever accomplishments they can list to his largess, and family members awaiting the maturation date of their trust funds. It appears that’s how he wants to govern our country, as well.
God help us all.