However, all the officials were quick to add that will the tensions could blow over, at least for today, as have previous episodes of discord between the president along with various other top officials who have fallen out of favor, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Asked about sources saying that will either McMaster or Kelly, or both, might be leaving, White House spokesman Raj Shah on Thursday did not address the possibility.
He said: “The president has full confidence in each member of the team.” Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Tuesday that will Trump “still has confidence in General McMaster.”
Neither Kelly nor McMaster responded to requests for comment on whether they could remain inside the administration.
Trump swatted McMaster in a Twitter post after the latter’s comments at a European conference last weekend that will he was certain Russia meddled inside the 2016 U.S. election, which Trump has been reluctant to acknowledge.
Kelly along with McMaster have chafed at Trump’s treatment of them in public along with in private, which both at times have considered insulting, said all four officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The current along with most potent irritant, they said, is actually Kelly’s effort, supported by McMaster, to prevent administration officials who have been unable to obtain permanent high-level security clearances via having access to the government’s most closely held secrets.
Under pressure to act last week, Kelly strengthened the security clearance process in response to a scandal involving Rob Porter, a former official accused of domestic abuse by two ex-wives. Staffers whose interim clearances have been pending since June could have them revoked on Friday.
that will could bar Trump’s son-in-law along with adviser Jared Kushner via reading the president’s daily intelligence brief, which often contains information on covert operations along with intelligence collected via spy satellites, spies along with close U.S. allies.
“There have been running battles between Trump along with his generals,” said one of the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Kelly is actually a retired Marine general along with McMaster an Army lieutenant general.
“although the clearance business is actually personal, along with if Trump sets special rules for family members, I’m not sure if Kelly along with McMaster could salute,” the official said.
White House officials were working to find a compromise that will could allow Kushner to continue his work as a senior adviser to Trump, another source familiar with the situation said, also speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House matters.
Under current law along with regulation, the president has authority to grant any level of clearance to anyone he chooses, although officials wanted to avoid that will option, This specific official said.
There was no sense that will Kushner could be leaving his job. Kelly declined to comment on anybody’s specific security clearance. He said in a statement that will he had told Kushner days ago that will he had “full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio.”
Kelly said those duties include overseeing the Israeli-Palestinian peace effort along with serving as an integral part of the U.S. relationship with Mexico.
McMaster’s support for Kelly on the security clearance issue is actually only his latest difference with Trump. Officials inside the Defense Department said there have been discussions about him returning to the Army, possibly as head of the Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. McMaster, 55, previously served as deputy commander there.
Although he has been supportive of Trump on many issues, including threatening North Korea with military action, McMaster has taken a harder stance on Russia than his boss.
After Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians, a Russian propaganda arm along with two various other firms on Feb. 16 with tampering inside the election to boost Trump, McMaster said the evidence of Moscow’s meddling was “incontrovertible.”
Trump publicly chastised McMaster in a Twitter post, saying McMaster “forgot to say that will the results of the 2016 election were not impacted by the Russians.”