McMaster pushes Cohen-Watnick, Iran hard-liner, out at NSC

White House national security advisor H.R. Mc Master speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington U.S

The official said H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser, "appreciates the good work" that Cohen-Watnick accomplished in the intelligence division of the NSC, but "has determined that, at this time, a different set of experiences is best-suited to carrying that work forward". NBC News reports that last month, Trump suggested that Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford fire the commander of USA forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson because, as he artfully put it, "we are losing" the war in the western Asian country. McMaster's previous attempt to remove Cohen-Watnick from the staff had been blocked by Bannon and Trump himself.

The White House confirmed the decision late Wednesday afternoon.

But the NSC purge has not gone down smooth with the right-wing media, which has been tarring McMaster since news of the firings broke. Soon after his appointment, McMaster had sidelined K.T. McFarland, Flynn's deputy national security adviser and now ambassador to Singapore.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council who provided information to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) about "unmasking" during the Barack Obama administration, was ousted today.

U.S. President Donald Trump walks from Marine One upon his return to the White House in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2017.

Correction: A previous version of this story mistakenly said that Michael Flynn left the White House in January. Harvey, also among Trump's top advisers, was the first director at the think tank, Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

The conservative Weekly Standard published a blockbuster expose on the escalating battle between National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

In a June tweet, Trump called the revelation that Rice and other Obama senior officials were unmasking members of his team the "big story... the "unmasking and surveillance" that took place during the Obama administration".

Cohen-Watnick served at the Defense Intelligence Agency alongside Flynn, who ran that office until 2014.

Earlier Tuesday, The Atlantic reported the sacking of Rich Higgins, the NSC strategic planning director, after he penned a controversial memo claiming globalists, the "deep state", Islamists and others are trying to derail Trump's agenda.

In March, it was reported that prior to leaving office on January 20, Rice made numerous requests to reveal Trump campaign and transition officials named in transcripts of conversations picked up by the intelligence community during surveillance of foreign targets.

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