Sunday, April 9, 2017

Last Call For Advising A Shakeup

Looks like former FOX talking head K.T. McFarland is out as Deputy National Security Adviser, having been given the ambassadorship to Singapore as a consolation prize.

K. T. McFarland has been asked to step down as deputy National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump after less than three months and is expected to be nominated as ambassador to Singapore, according to a person familiar with White House personnel moves.

The departure of the 65-year-old former Fox News commentator comes as Trump’s second National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, puts his own stamp on the National Security Council after taking over in February from retired General Michael Flynn.

McFarland proved not to be a good fit at the NSC, the person said, adding that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was involved in the decision as well.

Her removal follows a reorganization of the NSC in the past week that removed Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor, from the principals committee, the Cabinet-level interagency forum that advises the president on pressing security matters.

Other officials, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were brought back onto the committee as “regular attendees,” reversing a move made in January. The changes were outlined in a presidential memorandum dated April 4.

Former Goldman Sachs executive Dina Powell stays on as another deputy national security adviser, and a second person is expected to be named to a similar role to replace McFarland.

Keep an eye on McMaster.  If Trump's response to his dismally low approval ratings is to start a war, McMaster and Homeland Security head John Kelly will be involved along with Defense Secretary Mattis, and right now, Trump's permanent focus on "winners" means if they deliver for him, they'll keep being the ones Trump listens to.

In other words, we may be approaching the point where Trump decides to surround himself with people who can actually attempt to carry out what he wants.  That's a problem.

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