Breitbart goes after McMaster – The Hill
Breitbart News, the media outlet helmed by President Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, published an article on Sunday casting national security adviser H.R. McMaster as soft on Islamist extremism and terrorism.
The article came just two days after Bannon’s departure from the White House. He returned to Breitbart later on Friday.
Bannon’s tenure in the White House was often turbulent, and he is said to have frequently feuded with the president’s other aides — McMaster in particular.The former chief strategist’s exit from the White House on Friday immediately raised questions about the future of Bannon’s relationship with Trump, as well as how Breitbart would cover the administration with Bannon at the helm again.
In an interview last week on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” McMaster repeatedly dodged questions about whether he could work with Bannon, saying simply that he is “ready to work with anybody who will help advance the president’s agenda and advance the security, prosperity of the American people.”
“I get to work together with a broad range of talented people, and it is a privilege every day to enable the national security team,” McMaster told the show’s host Chuck Todd.
McMaster’s answers stirred speculation in Washington that Bannon’s days at the White House were numbered.
The Breitbart article, headlined “H.R. McMaster Endorsed Book That Advocates Quran-Kissing Apology Ceremonies,” claims that the Army lieutenant general threw his support behind a book advising U.S. military personnel to avoid desecrating the Quran, so as not to inflame religious tensions with Muslim populations in countries where American troops are deployed.
It also quotes a blurb for the book that was reportedly authored by McMaster, in which he writes that “terrorist organizations use a narrow and irreligious ideology to recruit undereducated and disenfranchised people to their cause.”
The White House deferred questions on the Breitbart article to the National Security Council. An NSC spokesman did not immediately return The Hill’s requests for comment.
Bannon, a self-described “economic nationalist,” previously worked as Breitbart’s executive chairman before he joined Trump’s presidential campaign as its chief executive last year.
After Trump’s electoral victory in November, Bannon was tapped to serve as White House chief strategist, a move that elevated a man credited by many with translating Trump’s populist rhetoric into policy.
But Trump signaled earlier this week that Bannon was on thin ice, saying during a news conference Tuesday: “We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.”