White House denies security adviser McMaster is departing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House pushed back Thursday against an MSNBC report that President Donald Trump is planning to imminently replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton said Trump called the report “fake news” in a meeting with McMaster Thursday and informed McMaster “that he is doing a great job.”

The Thursday report suggested that McMaster will soon be replaced by Ford executive Stephen Biegun, who served in the George W. Bush administration. It said the replacement plan was drawn up by Defense Secretary James Mattis and chief of staff John Kelly.

“We frequently face rumor and innuendo about senior administration officials,” principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said. “There are no personnel announcements at this time.”

Trump has repeatedly clashed with McMaster, a respected three-star general. The most recent incident was over McMaster’s characterization of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Trump took to Twitter to push back on McMaster’s remarks at the Munich Security Summit last month.

“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,” Trump tweeted on Feb. 17, alluding to frequent GOP allegations of impropriety against Democrats and Hillary Clinton.

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