Operation Chaos: is Trump Going to Fire H.R. McMaster Next?
There’s lots of talk about how putting John Kelly in as Chief of Staff may be the shakeup the WH needs. This would be a lot more defensible if the people saying this were just beamed down here from Mars and it was their first day covering Trump.
Newsflash-nothing ever changes Trump. In working for him you have two choices:
1. The Anthony Scaramucci Plan where you throw off all integrity and become Trump’s sociopathic flak and general suckup.
I’ll tell you two fish that don’t stink-me and the President, that’s who.
2. The James Comey Plan where you handle yourself with great integrity and get fired. Those are the choices.
3. Of course, even if you choose 1, you may well sink in the Survivor style office politics but…
4. There’s also Trump’s version of the Peter Principle where whoever is least suited for a particular job gets the job and whoever is most suited will get fired assuming by accident they get the job in the first place.
5. Reince wasn’t particularly good at his job but Anthony Scaramucci is still much more unsuitable so naturally he’s in and Reince is out.
6. Devin McMaster is clearly a bad fit for the WH as he is qualified for the job. So now there is talk he’s on the way out. It’s surprising he lasted this long.
“In a week which saw a historic level of instability and infighting within Donald Trump’s senior leadership team, it went barely noticed when National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster abruptly fired a member of the National Security Council for no apparent reason. And now it turns out Donald Trump is on the verge of firing McMaster himself, in what would be yet another chaotic White House shakeup which could also destabilize the CIA in the process.”
“The spectacle began under the radar when H.R. McMaster fired Derek Harvey from the National Security Council. The move was documented at the time by NBC News reporter Ken Dilanian (link), but it otherwise received relatively little attention. Harvey was a holdover from when Michael Flynn had been the National Security Adviser, and it appeared that McMaster was trying to eliminate what’s left of Flynn’s influence. But now it looks like McMaster may have simply been trying to fend off his own ouster.”
After Donald Trump shifted Homeland Security Director John F. Kelly to the position of White House Chief of Staff, firing Reince Priebus in the process, New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush tweeted that according to his sources it’s “more likely Trump ousts McMaster (who annoys him)
replaces him w Pompeo.” (link). So now we’ve reached the point where Trump is about to fire a decorated military general who has been personally loyal to him, simply because he finds the guy to be annoying. But it gets stranger.”
Yes, this connected to 1 above: the only way to get anywhere with Trump is the Anthony Scaramucci plan. Sucking up-Trump calls it ‘loyalty.’
Pompeo is ‘loyal’ in Trump’s way:
“CIA Director Mike Pompeo appears to be the only head of any U.S. intel agency who is personally loyal to Trump. So if Trump shifts Pompeo from the CIA to National Security Adviser, it’s unclear who if anyone would end up in charge of the CIA. The Senate is increasingly hesitant to confirm any major new Trump appointees, for fear they may try to sabotage the Russia investigation from within. So this could leave the FBI and CIA in the hands of acting directors, at a time when Trump is also trying to oust the Attorney General.”
Yes Pompeo is notable in being the one intel agency head who has not asserted that Trump came to him to quash the Russia investigation. This is for two possible reasons:
A. Trump asked everyone but Pompeo.
B. Trump asked him but he’s ‘loyal.’
By the way, this is another reason why Kelly won’t change anything. At his confirmation hearing he had stated ‘I work for one man and his name is Donald Trump.’
Not I work for the American people. In his mind Trump counts, we don’t.
But as Palmer suggests this may be a feature not a bug-as Trump won’t have a CIA director either.
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