---Just get him out of there.!---
The disclosure that White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster sought to preserve former Obama administration adviser Susan Rice's top secret clearance has provided fresh grist for internal foes of McMaster’s to push for the general’s ouster from the Trump administration, according to multiple administration insiders who view the situation as the latest front in a long brewing civil war between divided factions inside the White House.
Documents disclosed Thursday by the news organization Circa show that more than a month after Rice was identified as unmasking classified information about Trump and his associates—damaging information that was later leaked to the press—McMaster wrote to Rice, telling her that he would ensure she retained her top secret security clearances.
This enabled Rice to continue accessing classified information from any secure site across the nation, according to multiple sources, though it remains unclear if Rice has availed herself of that access.
McMaster’s critics allege the general went behind the president’s back to assist the former Obama official in a charge that may further inflame a relationship between Trump and his national security adviser that is already perceived as strained.
The disclosure of McMaster's letter to Rice, which was sent to her home at the end of April, is said to have infuriated some factions in the West Wing who already view the current national security adviser as a source of conflict and instability.
The situation is just the latest source of tension in a long brewing battle between factions in the White House seeing to wrest control from one another. The fresh round of infighting threatens to undermine the new Chief of Staff John Kelly and raises questions about whether the former Marine general and secretary of homeland security can bring order and stability to a West Wing swamped with infighting.
The Washington Free Beacon first reported early Thursday that McMaster is engaged in an effort to purge from the White House National Security Council several longtime Trump loyalists who supporters claim had been guilty only of battling Obama-era holdovers in the government.
"It's wildly patronizing that yet again General McMaster not just in the foreign policy arena, but also in the national security and political arena, is undermining and actually causing harm to the president," one senior West Wing source told the Free Beacon. "This is unbelievable."
"Basically, because the White House is maintaining her clearance now, per General McMaster's order, she has carte blanche access around the U.S., anywhere classified information is stored," the administration official said.
However, multiple sources tell the Free Beacon it is not unusual for a former senior official from any administration
to receive such permissions.
McMaster promised in his letter that the Trump NSC would "continue to work with [Rice] to ensure the appropriate security clearance documentation remains on file to allow you access to classified information."
"I hereby waive the requirement that you must have a ‘need-to-know' to access any classified information contained in items you ‘originated, reviewed, signed or received while serving,' as national security adviser," McMaster wrote to Rice, according to Circa.
The blanket permission granted by McMaster has prompted concerns from some Trump allies that Rice could continue to gather classified information and leak it to the press, though there is no evidence she has done so at this point.
Additionally, Trump administration officials on the Nationals Security Council officially reject these claims, telling the Free Beacon that what McMaster did is normal and consistent with the way any administration would treat former senior officials.
"It is common practice for senior national security officials to have their clearance maintained in the event sitting officials need to discuss continuity operations with them," one NSC official told the Free Beacon.
Rice would need such clearance in order to brief current administration officials and inform them about sensitive operations that were began by the former administration, according to multiple insiders.
One senior NSC official in both the George Bush and George W. Bush administrations told the Free Beacon that top officials kept their security clearances after Barack Obama took office in July 2009.
"The Obama administration took no action to have them revoked," said the source. "Similarly, we let the Clinton people keep theirs in January 2001 when they left. This is how it always works, partly because people from the previous administration know things about the previous eight years and may need to be consulted."
see full story