Trump counters criticism of his national security adviser | Nation and World – Arizona News

Trump counters criticism of his national security adviser | Nation and World – Arizona News

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — President Donald Trump has issued a defense of his national security adviser H.R. McMaster against criticism he’s not supportive enough of Israel and is stifling conservative viewpoints.

Trump came out with a public endorsement late Friday. In a statement, Trump said: “General McMaster and I are working very well together. He is a good man and very pro-Israel. I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country.”

McMaster, an Army lieutenant general, came under attack after the recent firing of White House intelligence adviser Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who was a protege of Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Critics have accused McMaster of trying to remove conservative voices from Trump’s national security team.

McMaster was also the subject of a widely circulated Facebook post by a Jerusalem Post columnist that called him “deeply hostile to Israel.”

Trump’s statement of support comes after a turbulent period at the White House and a major reshuffling of top staff. New White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, is now seeking to impose order on a chaotic West Wing.

Cohen-Watnick’s departure came as part of a string of shake-ups at the White House and National Security Council. McMaster had sought to remove Cohen-Watnick in March when CIA leaders raised concerns about him. But Cohen-Watnick appealed to Trump’s top advisers, Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, who got Trump to intervene to save his job.

On Friday, Kushner also offered support for…

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