Obama homeland security adviser says position ‘downgraded’ in Trump White House

President Obama’s homeland security adviser ripped the Trump administration in an interview published Wednesday, saying it has “downgraded” her old position's role in counseling the Oval Office on counterterrorism. 

Lisa Monaco said her old position effectively does not exit.


"That role has unfortunately been, kind of, downgraded. And I think that's a problem because I know I was pretty busy as were my predecessors,” she told CBS News

The White House responded by saying the structure of the National Security Council in the Obama White House was "duplicative" and "bloated."

"The structure of the National Security Council staff under the Obama Administration was duplicative, bloated, and overlapping. As [White House national security adviser John] Bolton has mentioned repeatedly, streamlining the staffing structure of the National Security Council to efficiently keep America safe will continue to be a priority for this Administration," a senior White House official told The Hill.

Trump tapped Douglas Fears as his national security adviser in June to replace Tom Bossert, who abruptly resigned in April

Bossert, who was once a trusted aide to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE, often appeared in the White House briefing room or on Sunday talk shows to discuss a range of issues from hurricane relief efforts to cybersecurity. Comparatively, Fears's profile has been lower since he took the role.

Prior to the appointment, Fears had worked as the National Security Council's acting homeland security adviser and served in the Coast Guard for more than 30 years.

The Trump administration rolled out its counterterrorism strategy in October, highlighting its focus on “terrorist ideology.”

“We recognize that there is a terrorist ideology that we’re confronting,” Bolton said. “And I think it’s long been the president’s view that without recognizing that we’re in an ideological struggle that we can’t properly address the terrorist threat. I think in that sense this is much broader than strategies in the previous administration.”

Monaco argued that the Trump White House’s strategy to combat terrorist groups could actually help fuel extremist ideologies against the U.S.

“There’s a real mismatch with that strategy in what we're seeing in terms of rhetoric and actions,” she said. She said the travel ban and other policies send "an isolating message and fuels the ISIS recruiting when it comes to sending a message that we don't want to work with Muslim countries.” 

“Al-Qaeda, ISIS, others recruit based on the theory that there's a clash of civilizations, that the West and America in particular is aligned against all of Islam," she said. "And so we feed that narrative when we do things like the travel ban, when we criticize our NATO allies, and when we talk about retreat from multilateral organizations and agreements."

Jordan Fabian contributed.