National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster eyeing exit as Trump considers successors

Posted on: March 1st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The White House and Pentagon have been preparing for National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to move out of his role in the administration and return with a promotion to a job in the military, sources tell ABC News.

While Lt. Gen. McMaster’s departure does not appear imminent, it has been contemplated for several weeks — a transition expected possibly as soon as this spring, the sources said.

“We frequently face rumor and innuendo about senior administration officials. There are no personnel announcements at this time,” deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah told ABC News today when asked about new media reports of McMaster’s coming departure.

Last month, McMaster told reporters it is his “intention to go on as long and as hard as I can in service of the president and the nation in this job.” McMaster was appointed in February 2017 after President Trump fired his first National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and faced long-running tension with President Donald Trump in part over his style and disposition in Oval Office briefings. He has also clashed with other top military brass, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The president “still has confidence in General McMaster, I spoke to him specifically about that answer,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters last week.

The Pentagon is expected to give McMaster a fourth star and new assignment yet to be determined. One post under consideration, sources say, is head of the U.S. Army’s training and doctrine command headquartered in Virginia.

The president has also begun considering candidates to succeed McMaster as national security adviser, a post which does not require Senate confirmation, the sources told ABC News.

Auto industry executive Stephen Biegun, who worked on the National Security Council under Condoleezza Rice during the Bush administration, is a leading candidate to succeed McMaster, officials have told ABC News. Former Bush U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who met with Trump at the White House late last year, is also in the running for the job.

Steve has no plans to leave Ford and has had no conversation with the White House about any positions, according to a company spokesperson.

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