National security adviser H.R. McMaster looks to be the latest top-level aide in President Donald Trump’s White House to head for the exit, NBC News reported Thursday.
It’s unclear whether McMaster is being forced out or is choosing to leave on his own. But McMaster’s relationship with Trump has grown rocky in recent weeks, after McMaster declared at the Munich Security Conference in February that the evidence Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election is “incontrovertible.”
That statement irked Trump, who fired back against McMaster on Twitter.
“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,” Trump tweeted after McMaster’s comments. “Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!”
Either way, NBC News reported that chief of staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis are looking to replace McMaster as soon as April, according to NBC News. The leading contender to replace McMaster is Stephen Biegun, who once served as senior aide to former national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. Biegun is currently president of international governmental affairs at the Ford Motor Company.
If McMaster leaves, he will be the second national security adviser Trump has cycled through since taking office just over a year ago.
McMaster would also be the latest member of Trump’s team to leave in recent weeks.
On Wednesday, communications director Hope Hicks announced her departure from the White House. Hicks follows Josh Raffel, a top aide to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned in the wake of a domestic abuse scandal.