Right Web - February 20, 2017
John Bolton was briefly considered a top candidate to replace the controversial retired Gen. Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser. The idea of appointing Bolton, a divisive figure closely associated with neoconservative activism, had divided Republicans, with the hawkish Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) pushing the candidacy and libertarian Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) calling him a “bad choice” who could end up promoting “secret wars.”
Right Web - February 17, 2017
J.D. Crouch II is a former deputy national security adviser and assistant to President George W. Bush who helped develop the “troop surge” in Iraq and was considered one of the staunchest foreign policy hawks in the Bush administration. In the wake of the Michael Flynn debacle at the Trump administration’s National Security Council (NSC), Crouch was considered a likely candidate for a high level post in the NSC if retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward was chosen to replace Flynn. Harward, however, turned down Trump’s nomination, reportedly becauase of limits in his ability to choose his own staff.
Right Web - February 15, 2017
Donald Trump’s decision to reject Elliott Abrams as number two at State because of his criticism during the election campaign upset many conservative foreign policy insiders. “The core point here is that this comes from Trump’s thin-skinnedness,” a top Republican strategist who supported Abrams told Politico. “He is the problem, this is all he cares about.” Added Eric Edelman, former undersecretary of defense in the George W. Bush administration: “It really speaks so poorly of Trump. … It robs him of somebody who could have helped him enormously.”
Right Web - February 14, 2017
Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser–already facing intense scrutiny for promoting conspiracy theories, fake news items, and attacks on Islam–was forced out of his White House job only weeks after starting. Flynn stepped down in mid-February after reports that he spoke about Obama-imposed sanctions with Russia’s ambassador before Trump’s inauguration. The reports also showed that Flynn contradicted members of Trump’s administration, including Vice President Pence, who had repeatedly rejected claims that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Russian officials. .
Right Web - February 9, 2017
Victoria Coates, a member of Donald Trump’s National Security Council and former adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), has a long track record of working with hardline foreign policy hawks. Her neoconservative tendencies were clearly on display in early 2016 when Cruz announced his presidential campaign team, which included a host of “pro-Israel” ideologues, including Elliott Abrams, Michael Ledeen, and Frank Gaffney. When asked about this team, Coates noted her role in assembling it: “Both Frank and Elliott are people I went out of my way to set up meetings with the Senator.”
Right Web - February 2, 2017
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), an outspoken opponent of the Iran nuclear deal and longstanding neoconservative activitst, has been both critical and supportive of the Trump administration. While he has ridiculed Trump’s call to force Mexico to pay for the construction of a border wall, Lieberman has lauded his “sea change” on Iran policy. He recently urged Trump not to “tear up” the Iran agreement but to closely monitor Iran to see if they are not complying with the deal, “then we can break out of the agreement.”
Right Web - January 30, 2017
Mike Pompeo is a “tea party” Republican was serves as CIA director in the administration. A vocal Iran critic, Pompeo has called for preemptive bombing of Iranian nuclear sites, introduced legislation that would block U.S. collaboration in the Iran nuclear deal, requested a visa from Iran to “monitor” its elections, and joined neoconservative congressional figures in misleadingly claiming that there were “secret side deals” that the Obama administration kept from the public to get the Iran deal through. Commentators have noted how Pompeo’s Religious Right outlook has led him to develop close associations with anti-Islam zealots like the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney, who once called Pompeo “one of the most intelligent men I know in public life.”