It looks like General H.R. McMaster might be the next guy out of the job; that is, such is the case if a report from Bloomberg’s Eli Lake is to be believed.
Lake has apparently spoken to a number of officials inside the Trump White House, and they’ve all explained to him that McMaster, who replaced General Michael Flynn as Trump’s National Security Adviser, is not in good favor with the guy in charge.
One of the most notable incidents indicating Trump’s general dislike for McMaster involves the President having literally “screamed” at the guy over a North Korea policy spat.
Trump, for his part, threatened to have South Korea pay for a new U.S. missile defense system that the was due recently to be set up in the peninsular ally country.
As Reuters reported Trump to say in the end of April, “I informed South Korea it would be appropriate if they paid. It’s a billion-dollar system. It’s phenomenal, shoots missiles right out of the sky.”
This move left the South Korean government shaking its head. South Korea’s defense ministry commented of the remarks that “there was no change to the existing agreement.”
All of this coincided with a renewed wave of aggression from North Korea, with the long belligerent dictatorship threatening that nuclear war could break out “any minute.” North Korea’s threats put the people of South Korea in danger at least as much as they put the people of the United States in danger.
McMaster followed quickly after Trump’s assertion that South Korea should pay for the missile defense system, which is known as THAAD, reporting that he’d spoken to South Korea as follows: “What I told our South Korean counterpart is until any renegotiation, that the deals in place, we’ll adhere to our word.”
Trump, apparently, was furious.
Bloomberg’s Eli Lake is now reporting the following:
‘Trump was livid, according to three White House officials, after reading… that McMaster had called his South Korean counterpart to assure him that the president’s threat to make that country pay for a new missile defense system was not official policy. These officials say Trump screamed at McMaster on a phone call, accusing him of undercutting efforts to get South Korea to pay its fair share.’
That idea of getting other countries to pay their “fair share” is something that Trump has held onto for awhile. Reports even circulated at one point that he literally handed German Chancellor Angela Merkel a bill for the difference between what Merkel’s country pays to NATO at present and what Trump believes is their “fair share.”
Additionally, according to Lake, the incident over South Korea isn’t the only time that Trump and McMaster have clashed.
Two anonymous White House officials tell Bloomberg that “Trump has complained in front of McMaster in intelligence briefings about ‘the general undermining my policy.’”
Unsurprisingly, the White House has issued statements indicating that they want us to believe that Trump and McMaster are totally in sync. All it takes is to look at Trump and McMaster’s respective policy positions, however, to realize that they’re not.
Trump would likely prefer to still have the Russia-compromised Michael Flynn on board.