It happened yet again today. A senior member of the Donald Trump White House was caught doing something incredibly suspicious and possibly illegal with the Russians, and of all people, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster stepped up to lie about it in the name of a coverup. He was supposed to be the late arriving white knight who was going to provide an ounce of legitimacy to a failing administration. Instead he’s going down with the ship. The only question is why – and the potential answers are all alarming.
After Trump’s original National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign over his role in the Russia scandal, many were surprised to see H.R. McMaster willingly step into the role. Some thought perhaps he was earnestly hoping to right the ship out of patriotic duty. Others suspected he was merely betting on Trump being ousted, thus allowing him to prosper in the resulting Mike Pence administration. But instead it’s become clear that McMaster is not on either of these tracks.
Today we heard McMaster purposely mischaracterizing Jared Kushner’s highly irregular transition period Russian backchannel (link), pretending it was something commonplace when he knows it isn’t. Earlier this month we heard McMaster falsely claim that Donald Trump didn’t give classified intel to the Russians during an Oval Office meeting he had attended, only to later claim he couldn’t remember what was said in the meeting. At this point H.R. McMaster is doing more lying on behalf of Trump than Trump is doing on his own behalf. But why?
Two possibilities come to mind for why a decorated and respected General would go down this ruinous road. One is that he’s somehow gotten sucked in by Donald Trump’s sociopathic brand of bullshit, as has been the case with so many other political advisers whom Trump has corrupted and ruined for his own purposes and then discarded. The other is that Trump and/or Russia could be using some kind of unidentified blackmail material to dictate McMaster’s every self destructive move. Follow Palmer Report on Facebook and Twitter.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report