Bannon was kicked off the NSC's principals committee soon after McMaster became national security adviser.
"Very few people know who's going to get axed next, but if you're viewed as a Flynnstone it's a liability", said a person close to the White House, referring to staffers hired by McMaster's predecessor, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. "Conservative Review reports that from ".interviews with several current and former members of President Trump's inner circle, a profile of McMaster has emerged as a man fiercely opposed to strengthening the USA alliance with the Jewish state".
Mr Trump had recently pondered a different role for General McMaster. Trump wants to get us out of Syria - McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to deal with the Islam issue, McMaster doesn't.
The campaign has been characterized as part of an ongoing war in the White House an between "America First" nationalist faction led by Bannon, and a centrist Republican faction which has coalesced around McMaster and Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.
Also gone is Derek Harvey, who held the Middle East portfolio at the NSC, and who also was an Iran hawk. The Trump administration is now weighing a reduction of USA military presence instead.
McMaster is now involved in a power struggle within the Trump administration, facing off against the far-right wing headed by senior adviser Steve Bannon, who is attempting to bring about McMaster's resignation.
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The Times noted that Frank Gaffney Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy, had called McMaster "insubordinate to his commander in chief" in areas such as Islamic terrorism.
What hasn't been reported is that it was McMaster who pressured Trump to agree not to let Netanyahu accompany him to the Western Wall. So it is that "McMaster Leaks" includes "facts" such as: "McMaster fired Rich Higgins for writing a memo criticizing Islamic terrorism". President Barack Obama's final national security adviser has always been a target of right-wing media and conservatives in Congress.
Other NSC aides chose to leave of their own volition, such as Victoria Coates, who has changed jobs to work under Jason Greenblatt, Trump's envoy for the Israel-Palestine peace process, and Tera Dahl, who is seeking a job at the US Agency for International Development. "After extensive research, Harvey compiled a list of suspected leakers and reportedly delivered it straight to the president, who then took his list to McMaster".
Even as the White House appeared overcome by the resignations of two communications directors and a chief of staff in rapid succession, McMaster has carried out his months-long quest to clear Flynn's baggage.
Guest host Dana Perino asked if McMaster is on thin ice at the White House.