by George Rasley, CHQ Editor
The appointment of Ambassador John Bolton as President Trump’s National Security Advisor and the confirmation of CIA Director and former Representative Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State brought two solid conservatives with great credentials and a commitment to President Trump’s national security policies into his administration.
Gone are the ineffective Rex Tillerson, who never seemed to click with Trump and his policy goals, and the near-treasonous H.R. McMaster who, as National Security Advisor, was a Fifth Columnist for maintaining Obama’s disastrous policies on the Iran nuclear deal, the war Islam has declared on the West and Chinese expansionism, to name just three of his more obvious betrayals of Trump’s campaign promises.
But what about the staffers and underlings that Tillerson and especially McMaster brought into the Administration?
Ever since General Mike Flynn was ousted as President Trump’s National Security Advisor the NSC has slid steadily back toward Obama-like postures toward the war Islam has declared on the West and especially on dealing with Iran.
The reason for this slide back to Obama’s policies is the hiring of LTG H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor, who in turn retained many of Obama’s staff that Flynn had planned to move out of the NSC.
Indeed, in an incredible exercise of bad judgement, McMaster brought Obama Pentagon official Ylli Bajraktari over to be his assistant.
Hire people who think like Obama. Get Obama’s policies.
A year and a half after the American electorate rejected the failed policies of Obama and his erstwhile successor Hillary Clinton top Obama officials continue to come and go in and out of the White House compound as they please. And one prominent official, Robert Malley (Obama’s “ISIS czar”), has continued to brief National Security Council staff, who have continued to advise the President to certify Iran is complying with Obama’s nuclear weapons deal in the face of overwhelming evidence that it is not.
McMaster’s purges of Trump loyalists and Mike Flynn hires isolated President Trump and placed people who think like McMaster on the NSC staff, thus returning the NSC and the intelligence community to the Obama model where, as Mike Flynn put it, reporting on the terrorism threat that came up the intelligence community’s chain of command was very different from what was being presented at the top levels of government.
McMaster’s power play to isolate the President was a clear and present danger to the success of President Trump’s administration and to the fulfillment of his campaign promises, now McMaster is gone and there is hope that soon “his people” will also be gone.
But that doesn’t fix the problem.
At the State Department dozens of key diplomatic jobs remain unfilled, including ambassadors to key U.S. allies such as Germany, Australia and Saudi Arabia.
More than two dozen ambassador posts are waiting for nominations to be put forward; nominees for more than a dozen others are waiting for confirmation reports CNBC’s John W. Schoen.
As President Trump contemplates a meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Schoen says there’s no permanent U.S. ambassador to South Korea. The Trump administration has also yet to fill other positions critical to any talks with North Korea, including a permanent undersecretary for arms control and international security affairs, as well as a permanent assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
A number of top national security officials — including NSC spokesman Michael Anton, homeland security adviser Tom Bossert and deputy national security advisers Ricky Waddell and Nadia Schadlow — have either been pushed out by John Bolton or have chosen to leave because of his appointment.
FOX reports that Bolton has informed National Security Council employees that staff changes are imminent, including an influx of new people and a reorganization, a Trump administration source told Fox News on Wednesday.
This is welcome news, because cleaning house of the Obama – McMaster – Tillerson holdovers isn’t enough. The national security team needs, not just a house cleaning, but a complete staff renewal that will reinvigorate it with seasoned professionals who share President Trump’s national security goals for the Middle East, Iran, China, Russia, North Korea and will implement them, instead of undermining them.
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George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ.com. A veteran of over 300 political campaigns, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle, as Director of Policy and Communication for Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12) then Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, and as spokesman for Rep. Mac Thornberry now-Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.