National security adviser HR McMaster to be replaced

Glen Norman
March 4, 2018

Rumors of his departure have persisted for months, but the White House now appears to be actively looking for a replacement. "There are no personnel announcements at this time", Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in a statement Thursday evening.

Ford executive Stephen Biegun is among the possible successors for the Army lieutenant general, NBC said, citing five people familiar with the discussions.

The move, according to NBC News, has been orchestrated by White House chief of staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Things seemed to have flared up between the two over the weekend after Trump publicly criticized McMaster over the remarks he made regarding alleged Russian election meddling.

For months, the White House has been stuck when it comes to replacing H.R. McMaster, the president's national-security adviser.

McMaster has grown increasingly frustrated with President Trump and is considering retiring to the Pentagon, Reuters reported last week. The president has also begun considering candidates to succeed McMaster as national security adviser, a post which does not require Senate confirmation, the sources told ABC News.

On Wednesday, the White House confirmed that communications director Hope Hicks planned to leave in the coming weeks.

McMaster has had an especially strained relationship with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a favorite of the president's, who has been slow to respond to McMaster's requests for military options to counter adversaries such as Iran and North Korea, officials said.

Trump has been at odds with McMaster since the three-star general took the reins from former adviser Michael Flynn last February.

But the task of easing McMaster out of his role as national security adviser presents a unique challenge for the White House. The president, she said Friday, thinks McMaster is doing a "great job".

"He still has confidence in General McMaster", Sanders said during a briefing.

However, sources tell Garrett that the tension regarding McMaster is real, and that an exit strategy may now be in the works.

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