Petraeus: McMaster served US well in 'very challenging and difficult job'

Petraeus: McMaster served US well in 'very challenging and difficult job'

Retired Army Gen. and former CIA Director David Petraeus praised outgoing national security adviser H.R. McMaster on Thursday, saying he served the country well under exceedingly difficult circumstances. 

Petraeus praised the Army lieutenant general shortly after news broke Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE had ousted McMaster in favor of former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.

“I think he served the country very, very well in a very challenging and difficult job at the best of times, and arguably particularly challenging over the course of the last year or so,” Petraeus told attendees at a Veterans in Global Leadership event in Washington. 

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Petraeus described McMaster as “someone who is not one to leave something left unsaid,” adding that “I think very, very highly of him.”

“I want people to be willing to cross swords. I wanted people who would not hold something back if they felt deeply. Not everyone is in that camp, obviously,” Petraeus said.

McMaster worked under Petraeus multiple times while both were in the Army, and Petraeus in 2008 sat on the board for his mentee’s promotion to a one-star major general. 

Trump wrote on Twitter that Bolton, a former Bush administration official, will take over for McMaster on April 9.

A White House official said McMaster had been discussing his departure with Trump for some time.

“After 34 years of service to our nation, I am requesting retirement from the U.S. Army effective this summer after which I will leave public service,” McMaster said in a statement from the White House. “Throughout my career it has been my greatest privilege to serve alongside extraordinary servicemembers and dedicated civilians.”