Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, voiced his support for H.R. McMaster today. He attributed criticism of the national security adviser to the Russians. “They may not like his policies, what he’s advocating with the administration, or they may just be seeking to sow further discord among Trump administration officials, feeling that that would weaken the administration,” he opined.
Schiff should know about trying to weaken the Trump administration. If he had his way, President Trump would be impeached.
It’s probable that the Russians don’t like some of what McMaster is advocating — e.g., U.S. involvement in Syria. However, of the people I know who are criticizing McMaster, none is Russian and to my knowledge none sympathizes with Russia.
Russia is to the Trump administration as racism is to just about everything else. All you have to do is say “Russia” and the need for argument and analysis is obviated. Democrats have been using this tactic since the beginning of the Trump administration. Now some Republicans are mimicking them.
Adam Schiff’s endorsement should carry no weight with any conservative and/or Trump supporter. If anything, it should reinforce doubts about McMaster.
I also want to make one point in response to a piece Victor Davis Hanson wrote in defense of McMaster. According to Hanson, “McMaster’s firings at the NSC were, as in the case of John Kelly’s firing of the talented but otherwise profane, erratic, disruptive, and often naïve Anthony Scaramucci, likely process-driven rather than ideological.”
That’s possible, I suppose. But what about the hiring of Kris Bauman, who attacked Israel and the Bush administration for not recognizing Hamas as a force for moderation in the peace process, as his Israel adviser. Was that process-driven too? Of course not.
It won’t do to blow off criticism of McMaster. At a minimum, Trump should insist on a halt to McMaster’s purging of pro-Trump staffers.
UPDATE: Media Matters has weighed in. It doesn’t exactly endorse McMaster. Rather, it is content to bash McMaster’s critics. To be fair, some of the criticism cited is over-the-top.