Trump defends McMaster in wake of criticism on the right

Trump defends McMaster in wake of criticism on the right
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President Trump is defending his national security adviser H.R. McMaster in the wake of criticism from those in the nationalist wing of his political coalition.

“General McMaster and I are working very well together,” Trump said in a statement first reported by the The New York Times on Friday.

“He is a good man and very pro-Israel. I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country," Trump added.

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Trump's defense of McMaster comes after the news site Circa reported that McMaster had renewed a security clearance for Susan Rice, former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama: Are we a nation that rips families apart? Another chance to seek the return of fiscal sanity to the halls of Congress Colombia’s new leader has a tough road ahead, and Obama holdovers aren't helping MORE's national security adviser, sparking outrage among some on the right on social media, who started using the hashtag #FireMcMaster.

Some on the right have also gone after McMaster this week following the exit of Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence, from the National Security Council (NSC).

His departure was the latest in a string of exits from the NSC staff under McMaster, who has reportedly sough to purge appointees of Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

McMaster also fired the president's top Middle East adviser and well-known Iran hawk Derek Harvey last week. Harvey was originally hired by Flynn. 

McMaster stepped in to replace Flynn after he was ousted in February following reports that he mislead White House officials on his past conversations with Kremlin officials.

The Times reported that Trump and McMaster have not always had good chemistry, given their different briefing styles and preferences.

Updated: 11:05 p.m.