Sound Off: Should McMaster Return to the Pentagon?


"The recommendations were a private conversation between the secretary and the White House, and the contents will remain private", Eastburn said.

Asked about sources saying that either National Security Adviser McMaster or Chief of Staff Kelly, or both, might be leaving, White House spokesman Raj Shah on Thursday did not address the possibility. This comes in the wake of his comments at a security conference that there is no longer any doubt that the Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

After U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians, a Russian propaganda arm and two other firms on February 16 with tampering in the election to boost Trump, McMaster said the evidence of Moscow's meddling was "incontrovertible".

In a move that appealed to his hard-line conservative supporters, Trump announced in July that he would prohibit transgender people from serving in the military, reversing former President Barack Obama's policy of accepting them.

The President then called out McMaster in a Tweet.

Officials inside the West Wing told CNN that the preference would be for Mr. McMaster to leave for something that qualifies as a promotion, but some at the Pentagon said he's become too political to serve in the military in a major role.

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The Pentagon is quietly looking for a four-star general's job to give to three-star Lt. Gen. McMaster.

"He paid McMaster back by spreading rumors and whispering in Trump's ear", the senior Republican source said, adding that "Bannon poisoned the well". Others accuse Steve Bannon of poisoning the well after McMaster removed Bannon from the National Security Council, setting off a vicious smear campaign that's played out on Breitbart News.

The current commander of USA forces in South Korea, General Vincent Brooks, is expected to leave his post on a scheduled rotation in the coming months but his successor has already been earmarked within the Army but not yet made public, several officials said.

"But the clearance business is personal, and if Trump sets special rules for family members, I'm not sure if Kelly and McMaster would salute", the official said.

A Rand Corp. study commissioned by the Pentagon ahead of its 2016 policy change found that there were 1,320 to 6,630 transgender service members among 1.3 million people on active duty - less than 1 percent of the force.

But officials told CNN that the White House's wish is to find McMaster a four-star job that is seen as acknowledging his service.