Axios has the line on a new attack coming from the outside, designed to take out national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
Outside forces opposed to McMaster are going to allege he has a drinking problem, according to sources outside the Trump administration familiar with the anti-McMaster campaign. The controversial nationalist Mike Cernovich, who has an inside track on the anti-McMaster campaign, teased the alcohol attack in an Internet video with Alex Jones of the website Infowars. Anti-McMaster forces believe this attack will harm his standing with the president, who is a teetotaler.
McMaster is aware that the attack, which will supposedly be seen as a social media campaign, along the lines of the Pizzagate scandal, with a lot of Bannon-faithful allowing the story to grow bigger and more outrageous, as it’s passed along.
- Another official told me the majority of senior staff “have rallied around McMaster and believe that all of the attacks against him are divorced from reality.”
- Chief of Staff John Kelly finds the attacks dishonorable and disgusting, according to a source close to Kelly. President Trump is also off-put by the campaign against McMaster — even though his relationship with his National Security Adviser has at times been strained.
This all ties back in to the previous story I brought you, regarding Steve Bannon and his efforts to drive McMaster out. These attacks are doing more to damage Bannon than McMaster, and one more tasteless, baseless scandal could be his end.
- Bannon has told associates he has nothing to do with the hits on McMaster, calling them a spontaneous reaction against the “globalist” from Trump’s nationalist base. But senior White House officials don’t believe him. Breitbart News, the media outlet Bannon led before joining the Trump campaign last August, has been leading the attacks on McMaster, though they’re hardly alone.
McMaster appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd. When asked if he and Bannon could continue to work together, McMaster refused to answer, directly, speaking only of carrying out the president’s agenda.
Then there is the Israel issue. Another arm of attacks has been that McMaster is not a friend to Israel.
Mort Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America released a report on Wednesday, saying McMaster was “hostile” to Israel, and called for President Trump to remove him from his position.
However, former senior Israeli military officials have McMaster’s back, writing in the Jerusalem Post:
“Such an attack is not mere opinion; it is an offense against the truth, against basic decency and against the best interests of Israel as we see them.”
- One of the GOP’s top donors, Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson, funds Klein’s group. I’ve asked an Adelson rep whether the billionaire donor signed off on ZOA’s call for Trump to fire McMaster. The Adelson rep hasn’t responded. Bannon is one of the few senior administration officials that the ZOA trusts on Israel.
And Bannon will continue to deny any responsibility for the attacks.
Watch for those first reports to trickle out that McMaster is a fall-down, stumbling drunk – and know they’re sheer fabrication.