Rumors abound that active-duty Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster has fallen out of favor with President Trump and that the White House wants him out as National Security Advisor. They have also convinced Trump of the importance of worldwide alliances, particularly North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which he has criticized as not equally sharing its burdens with the United States. The task of easing McMaster out of his role as national security adviser presents a unique challenge for the White House.
The White House did not respond to CNN's request for comment.
Trump swatted McMaster in a Twitter post after his comments at a European conference last weekend that he was certain Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 US election campaign, which Trump has been reluctant to acknowledge.
Still, McMaster could have a tough time back in uniform full time.
Most officials could not confirm what to offer a new job for McMaster, who might be nominated if he were to leave the White House. Staffers whose interim clearances have been pending since June would have them revoked on Friday. A source familiar with the situation said Trump's perception of McMaster is still influenced by the legacy of Bannon who maintained a tense relationship with McMaster after McMaster removed him from the National Security Council.
Mattis was scheduled to brief Trump on Wednesday.
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A second defense official said McMaster is well aware of those political sensitivities.
Two top advisers to Donald Trump may soon resign from the White House amid longstanding tensions with the president.
"It was an administration that was deeply committed to civil rights, and I think [Carter] cared about that", said Mark Cancian, a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
McMaster's support for Kelly on the security clearance issue is only his latest difference with Trump.
The Pentagon did not give details on the recommendations, but the top United States general has said transgender troops should not be removed from the military.
Those tensions flared into public view again last weekend, when Trump rebuked McMaster for saying that the Justice Department's evidence against 13 Russians indicted for election meddling was "incontrovertible".
Trump is said to be especially pissed that McMaster said there is "incontrovertible" evidence that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 USA presidential election at a security conference in Munich attended by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.