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McMaster Offers Up Apology To Brits Over False Spying Allegations
On March 15, the U.S. Senate voted 86-10 to allow Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, President Donald Trump’s pick for national security advisor, to remain on active duty in the role.
Two days later, the administration sent McMaster to patch over relations with a key American ally after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made sensational claims about that ally’s alleged efforts to wiretap Trump, according to multiple news reports.
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Earlier this month, Trump claimed on Twitter that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, had wiretapped his campaign headquarters in Trump Tower. In the weeks since that claim, multiple intelligence officials and congressional leaders of intelligence committees on both sides of the aisle have stated that no evidence exists to back up that claim.
Spicer, attempting to defend Trump’s original claim earlier this week, cited a Fox News report that claimed Obama had used British intelligence agencies to spy on Trump Tower, so as not to leave “American fingerprints.”
The move was immediately criticized. Susan Rice, who held McMaster’s job in the Obama administration, said on Twitter that Spicer’s conduct could be quite costly to U.S.-Britain relations.
The cost of falsely blaming our closest ally for something this consequential cannot be overstated. And from the PODIUM. https://t.co/lJ1Q1GR3lB
— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) March 17, 2017
Britain’s intelligence agency, GCHQ, called the claims “nonsense” and “utterly ridiculous,” saying “they should be ignored.”
And so today, McMaster stepped in and phoned his counterpart in London, British national security advisor Mark Lyall Grant, to smooth things over.
A source in the White House characterized the call as “cordial,” according to CNN, and stated that McMaster assured Lyall Grant that Spicer’s claim was “unintentional.”
"Mr. Spicer and Gen. McMaster explained that Mr. Spicer was simply pointing to public reports, not endorsing any specific story," one official said.
McMaster also stated that “their concerns were understood and heard and it would be relayed to the White House,” CNN’s source in the White House said.
The British ambassador to the United States, Kim Darroch, also called Spicer to express concern over his remarks. Spicer attempted to clarify his remarks, but did not apologize, an unnamed senior White House official told the New York Times.
“He didn’t apologize, no way, no how,” the official said.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.
R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.