A couple of interesting things came out of Sean Spicer’s daily show in regards to the appointment of H. R. McMaster as National Security Adviser.
First, he will have the authority to hire his own people and to change the organization of the National Security Council (within the constraints of the law). This is interesting. Allegedly, the sticking point in bringing retired Admiral Robert Harward on board was his insistence that he be allowed to replace staff, in particular Deputy National Security Adviser K. T. McFarland. When he was told no, he declined the offer.
Which brings us to the second part:
Adm. Robert Harward did not turn down an offer from the president to serve as national security adviser due to a dispute over hiring leeway, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday, calling reports indicating that “100 percent false.”
Several media outlets reported late last week that Harward had reservations about his ability to bring in his own staff.Spicer said Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s eventual choice for national security adviser, would have “100 percent” autonomy over who he could hire.”He will have whatever he needs to implement a successful team,” Spicer said.Harward ultimately decided against joining the administration at the time due to “financial and family” considerations, Spicer said.”Admiral Harward made it very, very clear that he wanted this job,” Spicer added, noting Harward had expressed interest in joining the national security team at a later date.”I would urge people to actually talk to him,” Spicer said.
Is Spicer telling the truth? Given the number of utterly fabricated stories that have been generated to make the administration look bad, it isn’t unlikely. The fact that he basically says if you don’t believe him to ask Harward is a fairly major challenge. If he’s not telling the truth then it would seem that, given McMaster’s reputation, that you wouldn’t want to go there.
Either way, this should create an interesting fault line right away between Bannon, who seems to have installed several fellow-travelers on the NSC, and McMaster who will probably look to other military and academic acquaintances for senior position.