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President Donald Trump has thrown the U.S. military and defense establishment into disarray in the span of just two weeks with the dual humiliatingoustings. But at least one of Trump’s vaulted generals is sitting (relatively) pretty and with an approval rating only a touch under the Prez: Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
At the beginning of August, a White House transition from a fitful infancy to a gentler adolescence seemed nigh. With retired Marine Gen. John Kelly rising to be President Donald Trump’s gatekeeping chief of staff, Secretary of Defense James Mattis overseeing future planning for the War in Afghanistan, and National Security Adviser Lt Gen. H.R. McMaster conducting an extended purge of the National Security Council, the generals appeared to making good on a promise Mattis and Kelly reportedly made during the early weeks of the Trump administration: to “keep tabs on the orders rapidly emerging” from the Oval Office.
U.S. Navy/Chief Mass Communication Specialist James E. Foehl
Allies of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon intensified their battle against national security adviser H.R. McMaster this week as McMaster began asserting more control over the National Security Council and fired officials appointed by his immediate predecessor, Michael Flynn.
During a tense July 18 meeting in the White House, the commander-in-chief lambasted Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford over the Pentagon’s approach to the 16-year-old U.S. campaign, several anonymous administration officials told NBC News in an Aug. 2 report.