National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster says neither the American people nor U.S. allies should question the stability of the Trump administration amid his predecessor Michael Flynn’s guilty plea and rumors Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is stepping down.
“No, I don't think our allies need any reassurance,” McMaster told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “In fact, what we're doing is continuing to work with them on all the key challenges we face today -- from North Korea, to the defeat of ISIS across the Greater Middle East -- the ongoing efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, too.”
McMaster reiterated that President Trump’s main priority is to protect American interests at home and abroad.
Tillerson will continue to be a part of that effort, McMaster said.
“I'm not aware of any plan at all” for Tillerson to resign, he said.
Wallace also asked McMaster about the president’s recent retweets of online posts linked to “Britain First,” a far-right group in the United Kingdom.
Last week, Trump retweeted a video that purported to show Muslim immigrants committing acts of violence. Those depicted in the footage reportedly were European-born.
Wallace noted that many British leaders – including Prime Minister Theresa May – voiced outrage at Trump, saying the president had “got it wrong” and risked needlessly stirring racial and ethnic discord.
“General, why did President Trump send out those videos?” Wallace asked.
“Well, President Trump is the best judge of why he did that,” McMaster said. “I know it was his intention to highlight the importance of creating safe and secure environments for our citizens -- to make sure that we have the right laws in place, enforcement mechanisms in place.”
Wallace then suggested that between the Britain First retweets and Trump’s support for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the president might be tossing away any hope of achieving Middle East peace during his presidency.
“No, the president's not giving up on the Mideast peace agreement at all,” McMaster said.
“There are options involving the move of an embassy at some point in the future, which I think, you know, could be used to gain momentum toward a -- toward a peace agreement, and a solution that works both for Israelis and for Palestinians,” McMaster added.
McMaster also addressed North Korea.
Last week, North Korea launched its longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile – a provocation to which President Trump replied, “I will only tell you that we will take care of it.”
How exactly would the president “take care of it” given China and Russia’s complicity in propping up the regime, Wallace asked.
“Well, the president's going to take care of it by, if we have to, doing more ourselves,” McMaster said. “But what we want to do is convince others it is in their interest to do more.
“China, as you know, has taken some unprecedented actions. And what we're asking China to do is, not do us or anybody else a favor, but to act in China's interest.
“There's a real grave danger to China, to Russia, to all nations, by -- you know, from a North Korea that's armed with nuclear weapons. And of course, you have that direct threat, but you also have the threat of -- the potential of Japan, South Korea, others, arming themselves, possibly even with nuclear weapons. That is not in China's interest; it's not in Russia's interest.
“And so, what the president's saying is, we all need to take care of it. If necessary, the president and the United States will have to take care of it, because he has said he's not going to allow this murderous, rogue regime to threaten the United States with the most destructive weapons on the planet.”