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National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster fired National Security Council staffer Rich Higgins over an esoteric memo that warned about “deep state” actors including “globalists, bankers, Islamists, and establishment Republicans” seeking to destroy the president, according to a copy obtained by Breitbart News and published below.
The memo says the administration is suffering under “withering information campaigns designed to first undermine, then delegitimize and ultimately remove the President.” It also said there is a mindset within the White House inadequate to the threat.
“This is not politics as usual but rather political warfare at an unprecedented level that is openly engaged in the direct targeting of a seated president through manipulation of the news cycle. It must be recognized on its own terms so that immediate action can be taken,” it said.
The seven-page memo at times takes on an academic-like tone. Higgins, a former Army explosive specialist, Justice Department consultant, and Pentagon official, had also taught as a professor at the National War College, according to a Daily Caller interview last year.
But McMaster allegedly “detonated” after he got ahold of the memo, a source close to Higgins told Breitbart.
Although the memo never mentions McMaster or others in the White House, it says, “many close to the president have pushed him off his message when he was candidate Trump thus alienating him from his base thereby isolating him in the process.”
“When President Trump is not candidate Trump, he becomes dangerously exposed. While the base that elected candidate Trump identified with his vision, they are only Trump’s insofar as he holds to the vision that made him president.”
The memo was written in May, but after McMaster discovered it, Higgins was called into the White House counsel’s office on July 18 and questioned about it. On July 21, he was fired by McMaster’s deputy, but not explicitly given a reason why.
There are differing accounts as to how McMaster got hold of it. Higgins wrote the memo on his home computer, but had sent it to his work email to print out. The memo did not have an author’s name on it.
The source close to Higgins told Breitbart News that he believed McMaster obtained it from Higgins’ work email account. Two sources told Foreign Policy that the memo was discovered as part of a “routine security” audit of NSC staffers’ communications, but another source told the outlet that it was through a leak investigation of those suspected of communicating with blogger Mike Cernovich, who has waged an all-out war against McMaster.
“McMaster was just very, very obsessed with this, with Cernovich,” a senior administration official told Foreign Policy, which first published the memo on Thursday. “He has become this incredible specter.”
The memo reportedly made its way to President Trump, who loved it. It was not until he saw it on Fox News did he learn that Higgins was fired. A senior administration official told Foreign Policy that Trump was “furious.”
After Higgins was fired, McMaster fired two more NSC staffers — Derek Harvey and Ezra Cohen-Watnick. They had all worked on the president’s campaign and were hired to the NSC before McMaster got there.
Sources say they were also dedicated to the president’s agenda, versus McMaster’s — which disagrees with the president on numerous issues including the Iran deal, Afghanistan, and whether there is such thing as “radical Islam.”
McMaster has not publicly addressed his firing of Higgins, Harvey, or Cohen-Watnick. An interview he granted to NBC News’sChuck Todd is scheduled to air on Sunday.
Here is the memo in full: