President Donald Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, has reportedly concluded that his predecessor, Susan Rice, did nothing wrong when she tried to learn the identities of officials on Trump's transition team who were mentioned in United States intelligence reports a year ago.
Mattis, McMaster and other top aides are putting together answers to Trump's questions in a way to try to get him to approve the strategy, the officials said.
Trump also says McMaster "is a good man and very pro-Israel". "I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country", Trump said in a statement to the New York Times.
In addition to the firings of people seen as particularly pro-Trump, many on the right also seized on a decision to extend a security clearance for Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's final national security adviser. McMaster had sought to remove Cohen-Watnick in March when Central Intelligence Agency leaders raised concerns about him. "Meanwhile, blogger Mike Cernovich has been tweeting links to a website called McMasterLeaks, which contains a single blog post with multiple examples of how McMaster is undermining Trump". "Conservative Review reports that from ".interviews with several current and former members of President Trump's inner circle, a profile of McMaster has emerged as a man fiercely opposed to strengthening the USA alliance with the Jewish state".
McMaster, it should be noted, was the Trump administration's most senior representative and speaker earlier this year at the Israeli embassy's annual Independence Day event.
In recent weeks there have been a series of high profile resignations and firings in the White House, with press secretary Sean Spicer purportedly resigning in protest at the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. Numerous attacks came from online outlets popular with the far right, including Breitbart, which until last August was run by White House adviser Stephen Bannon.
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.
Critics have accused General McMaster of trying to remove conservative voices from the President's national security team.
Some of the most prominent survivors from the Flynn era include: Kevin Harrington, the deputy assistant to the president with close ties to Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel; Josh Steinman, special assistant to the president for cyber; Brad Hansell, a mainstream Republican who serves as senior director for transnational threats, and Gorka, a Hungarian-American with an interest in counterterrorism who often defends the president on television.