According to Lake, documents showing that Rice made the unmasking requests were uncovered by the NSC's former senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who was sacked by McMaster on Wednesday.
These personnel changes come amid an Atlantic report that an NSC staffer was sacked last month after a troubling memo he wrote arguing that "globalists", Islamists, and the "deep state" are working to undermine President Trump's agenda, and threatening the country. He has determined that, at this time, a different set of experiences is best-suited to carrying that work forward.
"Kelly backed firing of Kushner ally Ezra Cohen-Watnick to make it clear HR McMaster, not Jared/Bannon, has control of NSC hiring", Thrush tweeted, citing sources close to Cohen-Watnick's firing. McMaster has cleared her of the charges leveled against her this spring by members of the Trump administration, along with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) in what was a transparent effort to confuse the public about the nature of the probe into the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russian Federation during last year's election. In April, former Fox News contributor K.T. McFarland was asked to step down as the deputy national-security director, and is awaiting confirmation to serve as the ambassador to Singapore. Such a move could earn McMaster a fourth star.
On Wednesday, the White House confirmed that the NSC's senior director of intelligence, 30-year-old Ezra Cohen-Watnick has "left" the NSC.
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.
McMaster had previously tried to remove Cohen-Watnick from the National Security Council but was overruled by Trump, who heeded interventions on Cohen-Watnick's behalf by Bannon and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is the senior administration official responsible for Middle East policy.
U.S. President Donald Trump walks from Marine One upon his return to the White House in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2017. McMaster tapped Michael Bell, a retired army colonel who has a conventional career portfolio, to replace Harvey.
Higgins, a director for strategic planning in the NSC's strategic-planning office, was sacked last month after he penned a memo warning of globalists, leftists and Islamists working on a "Maoist insurgency" to undermine the Trump administration, according to Rosie Gray.
The right's disdain for McMaster was only compounded on Thursday afternoon with the release of two reports: one, from Bloomberg'sEli Lake, reported McMaster does not believe Obama national security adviser Susan Rice did anything wrong when she requested the unmasking of Trump campaign staffers. Previously they were known to go around the national security adviser.
Syrian refugees and fighters return home from Lebanon
The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a statement that it is not part of the agreement that led to the latest evacuations. Last week, Hezbollah captured most of the mountainous zone of Jroud Arsal from the militants.
'Fidgety' Teen Jumps From Plane in SF
Copa Airlines lands at SFO and a passenger could not wait until they got to the gate. The airline says it is cooperating with authorities in the ongoing investigation.