Donald Trump’s new national security adviser thinks former-President Obama was right all along, at least when it comes to his stance on terrorism.
HR McMaster, the respected army lieutenant general Trump chose to replace Michael Flynn after he resigned, told White House staff at a meeting on Thursday that he does not want to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” You know, what Obama has been saying for years.
A participant, paraphrasing McMaster, said: “He said he doesn’t want to call it radical Islamic terrorism because the terrorists are, quote, ‘un-Islamic’.”
McMaster, the participant said, indicated that the phrase castigates “an entire religion” and “he’s not on board”.
At the meeting, multiple sources said, McMaster discomfited White House staffers who view the terrorist threat in those religious terms and who were said to have exchanged awkward looks with each other.
Participants who attended the meeting said they were shocked by how different McMaster’s views are from those of Trump, who has dropped the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” at any chance he got.
During the meeting, McMaster also let it be known that he disagrees with Trump on several other points as well. He reportedly “laid out a vigorous defense of the post-second world war liberal order, calling it a guarantor of peace and economic prosperity.” Trump, on the other hand, has attacked these same longstanding foreign-policy goals repeatedly.
McMaster also took a stance on Russia that is the polar opposite of his Putin loving boss. “One source said McMaster was ‘very clear’ that he viewed Russia ‘as an adversary,’” the Guardian reports.
Trump chose McMaster as his new national security adviser after Flynn was forced to resign when it was revealed that he had told the Russian ambassador not to worry about sanctions during a phone call that took place before Trump was sworn in.
Thanks to Trump’s Islamophobic policies, at least one prominent NSC staffer has already resigned. Rumana Ahmed, who worked on strategic communications, stepped down after Trump issued his Muslim ban. She said his “radical Islamic terrorism” rhetoric is really no different from the rhetoric of ISIS.
Many who attended the meeting were relieved that McMasters doesn’t seem to be a complete crazy person when it comes to foreign policy, but they have no idea how that will “work in context with the rest of the White House”.