(National Sentinel) Executive branch: They say that most White House administrations are rife with people who have strong personalities, and that is certainly no different in the Trump West Wing.
Two of the boldest thus far have emerged to wrestle for control over President Donald J. Trump’s foreign and military policies: White House advisor Steve Bannon and National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster, a former Army three-star general known for his ties to the Deep State.
As reported by Lifezette, whoever wins could determinewhether the president is successful in steering the country away from long-running, low-intensity wars that bleed the U.S. Treasury and harm military readiness — as he promised on the campaign trail — or whether the U.S. continues the failed liberal policies of “regime change” in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
The site noted:
This struggle is often evident on Twitter, where Trump loyalists have used the “#FireMcMaster” hashtag as a swipe at the president’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.
The tensions are all a result of Trump’s original decision to name Michael Flynn as his first national security adviser. Flynn had to resign on Feb. 13 for misleading Vice President Pence about Russia talks during the transition.
As reported by The National Sentinel, Trump’s strongest supporters have begun to turn away from McMaster, accusing him of leaning towards the Deep State and wanting to keep in place the status quo when it comes to military and foreign policy: Animosity toward Israel; ensuring the state of relations between the U.S. and Moscow remain in turmoil; continued involvement in the Middle East; perpetual war; and ensuring NATO remains intact.
And as The Daily Caller noted, some former Trump administration insiders have also turned sour on McMaster, accusing him of actively undermining the president.
“Everything the president wants to do, McMaster opposes,” a former senior official said. “Trump wants to get us out of Afghanistan — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to get us out of Syria — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to deal with the China issue — McMaster doesn’t. Trump wants to deal with the Islam issue — McMaster doesn’t. You know, across the board, we want to get rid of the Iran deal — McMaster doesn’t. It is incredible to watch it happening right in front of your face. Absolutely stunning.”
And one former national security official called McMaster a “sycophant” of retired Army Gen. David Petraeus.
“I know that the president isn’t a big fan of what McMaster’s doing,” the former official told The Daily Caller. “I don’t understand why he’s allowing a guy who is subverting his foreign policy at every turn to remain in place.” The former official noted further that he expects the purge of “campaign Trump” insiders to continue over the next few weeks.
“I just fear there is a real creeping of status quo thinking that is taking over the place. I was upset while I was there in seeing how empowered Obama holdovers under McMaster were to essentially perpetuate Obama-era policies,” another former Team Trump member said.
Some insiders hoped that Trump’s firing of Flynn would be just the beginning of an effort to drive out those close to the president, Lifezette noted. For instance, Trump-and-Flynn loyalist Ezra Cohen-Watnick was recently booted from the National Security Council, leading many to believe that the status-quo national security and foreign policy wing of the Deep State is winning over the president. (Related: Trump does, at least, have international support for containing North Korea, and from an unlikely nation.)
“McMaster is still weeding out populists inside the executive office buildings, along with other places on White House grounds and at the NSA,” Lifezette reported. Such “populists” are in the Bannon camp, and they perfectly reflect Trump’s positions on the campaign train: An America first mentality in all policy areas.
But at least for now, they appear to be on the losing end of a battle that is raging behind closed doors in the West Wing.
This story originally appeared at Trump.news.