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

EXCLUSIVE: 'Everything The President Wants To Do, McMaster Opposes,' Former NSC Official Says

Despite Trump's public support for McMaster, it is far from clear that the national security adviser is on solid ground.

Retired Army Colonel Pete Mansoor, who worked closely with McMaster, told Politico that "there is a split in the White House between the Bannon camp of ideologues and the McMaster-Mattis-Tillerson camp of more centrist intellectuals".

James Carafano, a former Trump transition team official and vice president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, decried as counterproductive the recent spate of "blood-in-the-water" rumors.

Gen. H.R. McMaster listens as U.S. President Donald Trump makes the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

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In an interview with MSNBC's Hugh Hewitt that aired Saturday, McMaster said Trump has been "deeply briefed" on the strategy on North Korea.

McMaster continued: "So what we have to do is. everything we can to pressure this regime, to pressure Kim Jong Un and those around him such that they conclude it is in their interest to denuclearise". But multiple officials told BuzzFeed News that the main factors were differences between McMaster and Harvey on how the Middle East directorate should be managed as well as some heated discussions about Iran's presence in Syria during policy coordinating meetings. Trump wants to deal with the Islam issue, McMaster doesn't. Rice has been accused by the president, who has cited no evidence, of involvement in attempts to unmask Trump officials wiretapped by USA intelligence agencies during last year's election.

General McMaster had sought to remove him in March when Central Intelligence Agency leaders raised concerns about him, but Mr Cohen-Watnick appealed to Mr Trump's top advisers, Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.

Most members of the Council served President Obama. On Thursday, the New York Times reported that the "ouster" of Cohen-Watnick was "intended as a show of confidence from Mr. Kelly to Mr. McMaster". On July 21, McMaster dismissed Rich Higgins, a top NSC official who was "seen as an ally of" Bannon, after Higgins wrote a memo claiming that "globalists and Islamists" were trying to undermine Trump, according to The Atlantic.

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His dismissal follows other recent changes at the NSC.

Trump also says McMaster "is a good man and very pro-Israel".

McMaster's various moves have been noticed by Trump's base, with #FireMcMaster becoming a trending hashtag on Twitter, and a regular topic on conservative news sites - including Breitbart News.

Trump's efforts to cool speculation about McMaster's future seems to be another example of how new chief of staff John Kelly is bringing some order to the chaotic White House. The White House did not respond to request for comment, but s enior West Wing officials told Circa that Trump did not know about the letter.

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