Are the wrong people being purged from the Trump administration?
During a week that witnessed the departure of several prominent members of President Donald Trump’s White House staff, his current National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, removed former U.S. Army Col. Derek Harvey, the top Middle East advisor on the National Security Council (NSC), from his post.
The Trump White House openly confirmed the decision, but stopped short of explaining the circumstances behind the firing of yet another staff member who worked under Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn who was canned after he allegedly lied to the Vice President.
In fact, critics of McMaster claim his goal is to remove any of the holdovers from Flynn’s days at NSC.
The McMaster and Harvey date their relationship back to their time in the Army serving in Iraq. Both men were reputed to have been loyal followers of retired Gen. David Petraeus, but they’ve also had some disputes while serving in the Trump administration.
For example, Harvey was known for being a “hawk” on Iran and had been pushing proposals to expand the U.S. military mission in Syria to go after Iranian proxy forces more aggressively. But other national security voices such as Defense Secretary James Mattis pushed back on such proposals, as did McMaster.
Harvey was selected for his NSC post by Gen. Flynn. After Trump sadly had to let Flynn go in February, some of Flynn’s loyalists left with him. However, Harvey and several others remained in their jobs.
According to Harvey’s personal bio, he’s a retired Army colonel who was credited with recognizing — before anyone spoke about it — that the Bush43 administration had a full-blown insurgency on its hands in Iraq following the swift U.S. invasion in 2003, the ouster of Saddam Hussein, and the disbanding of the Iraqi military forces.
In May, Bloomberg Radio reported that Harvey had come up with memo that described what he called “Obama holdovers” at the NSC whom he suspected were leaking to the anti-Trump news media. When chief strategist Stephen Bannon and President Trump urged McMaster to fire them, he simply refused.
In an interview with Al-Monitor, Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA official, said Harvey was handpicked by Petraeus, the former U.S. commander in Iraq and later CIA director, to devise the surge strategy for overcoming the insurgency in Iraq and stabilizing that war-torn country.
Several sources have told Conservative Base that the Trump team must purge the “swamp” within the White House since there’s a good chance most of the leaks are emanating from those surrounding Trump and his inner-circle. “Trump has his work cut out for him: he must endure attacks from the Democratic Party, some Republican Party members, most of the denizens of the news industry and even members of the White House staff,” said former military intelligence officer and police commanding officer Michael Snipes.
“Once the ‘right’ people are purged from the White House, Trump can begin draining the swamp in earnest,” Snipes advised.