Speed Reads


John Kelly and James Mattis are reportedly angling to oust H.R. McMaster

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster may be on his way back to the military. NBC News reported Thursday that Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly are arranging a plan to move McMaster out of his White House role and into a "graceful landing" in the Pentagon.

The alleged machinations come as McMaster's relationship with President Trump has frayed. Earlier this month, Trump publicly disagreed with McMaster's assessment of the evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 election; after McMaster said that the evidence that Russians had intended to interfere was "incontrovertible," the president tweeted that his national security adviser "forgot to say the results ... were not impacted or changed." McMaster has additionally raised some eyebrows for getting involved in political matters while technically still an active-duty member of the Army.

Citing "five people familiar with the discussions," NBC News reported that Mattis and Kelly are seeking to replace McMaster with Stephen Biegun, currently the vice president of international government affairs for the Ford Motor Company. McMaster would be moved into either another three-star Army post — his current ranking — or perhaps even promoted to be a four-star general.

CNN reported last week that McMaster may be on his way out, a story White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed by saying Trump "still has confidence in" McMaster. The White House did not respond to NBC News' requests for comment. Read more about McMaster's possible exit here.