Trump has chosen Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new National Security Advisor:
HR McMaster, an army lieutenant general whose unconventional career has earned him widespread respect in US defense circles, will be Donald Trump’s next national security adviser.
The choice of McMaster has received widespread praise, and it seems that much of it is deserved. Trump made what seems to have been the best choice out of the four candidates he was considering, and it is good news that he didn’t select Bolton. Whatever else one might say about him, McMaster seems an obvious improvement over the man he is replacing. Flynn had become very much the unhinged ideologue by the time he joined Trump’s camp, and as far as I can tell McMaster is nothing of the sort. Above all, he has a reputation for integrity and competence, and the administration is desperately in need of someone like that running the NSC. He’ll still have his work cut out for him, but there is no question that Trump will be getting better advice than he was when Flynn was there. Whether Trump takes that advice remains to be seen.
Having said all that, one disturbing detail in the Guardian report jumped out:
Previewing a possible future appointment, Trump also said during Monday’s announcement that his administration will be asking John Bolton, a hardline senior diplomat in the George W Bush administration, “to work with us in a somewhat different capacity [bold mine-DL]… He had a good number of ideas that I must tell you, I agree very much with.”
That suggests that Bolton will still be getting a job somewhere in the administration, and that reflects very badly on Trump’s judgment in spite of what seems to be a good choice in McMaster.