The war on White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster continues, with allies of Steve Bannon using sympathetic media outlets to push a narrative that McMaster is thwarting the will of President Donald Trump. Senior White House aides now wonder among each other whether Bannon himself and/or his deputy, Sebastian Gorka, are helping feed the rash of anti-McMaster stories.
McMaster recently fired two National Security Council staff members—Derek Harvey and Ezra Cohen-Watnick—in part because both aides regularly met with Bannon without notifying McMaster. Bannon is senior counselor to the president and initially had a seat on the National Security Council before President Trump removed him in April. A third Bannon ally at the NSC, Rich Higgins, was fired by McMaster’s deputy Ricky Waddell.
Soon after the firings, the critical articles and posts about McMaster ramped up, several of which have White House sourcing. Caroline Glick, a conservative columnist at the Jerusalem Post, posted on her Facebook page late on August 2 that McMaster is “deeply hostile to Israel and to Trump” and implied he was sympathetic to Islamist ideology. Citing senior White House officials “aware of his behavior,” Glick wrote that McMaster “constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power and insists falsely and constantly that a country named Palestine existed where Israel is located until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Jews.”