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Big League National Security

Former Trump and White House Officials Criticize Neocon Nikki Haley, Speculate On Presidential Hopes

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UN ambassador Nikki Haley is inarguably the most popular Trump administration official in the mainstream media. Haley’s strong support for the continuation and necessity of Robert Mueller’s investigation angers Trump loyalists who see the political damage that Mueller is allowed to do to the president.

Haley is a neoconservative voice for regime change in Syria, which many rational observers believe would embolden the ISIS-linked Syrian rebels and create another anarchic void in the Middle East that could inevitably be filled by an expensive U.S.-led nation-building experiment similar to the Iraq War.

Now some former Trump White House officials are pointing out the problems with Haley.

McClatchy reports:

Trending: Trump Awes Lesley Stahl: ‘He Is Much More Confident. He Is Truly President.’

“There’s only one star in this show and it’s Donald J. Trump,” said one of the two people, a former Trump adviser who remains close to the White House…

Since the start of the administration, White House aides have grumbled that Haley, a rising star in the Republican party who is widely considered to be eying a run for president, has repeatedly either gotten in front of Trump or taken the spotlight away from him.

“That’s always been the friction between her and the White House,” said a former White House official. “It has been that way since day one.”

“Staff would joke about her being a potential 2020 primary opponent because she so often got ahead of the president or went another direction on an issue,” the former White House official said. “It was frustrating even if she was right on the merits.”

A Haley spokesperson said the president and ambassador work well together and that the White House communications office knew about her op-ed before it was published, as is the normal practice.

McClatchy passage ends

Trump loyalists are also skeptical of General James Mattis, another neocon who serves as Defense Secretary, and whom Bill Kristol constantly touts as a 2020 primary rival to President Trump.

Big League Politics reported:

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary General James Mattis is putting the wheels in motion for a presidential campaign against President Donald Trump in 2020, according to high-level sources in the nation’s capital.

A source confirms that Travis Snyder, an establishment Republican political operator, is working on Mattis’ behalf to reach out to other political professionals to build a viable Mattis 2020 primary campaign. The group has significant financing at its disposal already according to sources.

“I’m sorry but at this time I’m under a legal obligation not to discuss somethings,” Snyder told Big League Politics when questioned about his current business status. “Officially on the record.”

The group surrounding Mattis has the close confidence of White House chief of staff General John Kelly, who knows about the group’s plans. They are also reaching out to Nikki Haley to get her to be involved, possibly as a candidate.

Snyder made that clear in a barely-cryptic recent tweet:

Andrew Feinberg recently confirmed with Mattis aides that Mattis is looking to run against Trump in 2020. Beltway Breakfast reported:

Mattis, one of his senior aides said, raised the issue of his electoral potential last week during a high-level Pentagon meeting, in which he, along with 10-15 of the country’s top civilian and military defense officials, discussed ways to maintain continuity of Defense Department operations in the event that Mattis abruptly resigns or is fired from the cabinet.

“I’d kick Trump’s ass in 2020, and I just might have to!” Mattis said, according to a source.

Beltway Breakfast passage ends

Mattis’ work as Defense Secretary has always alarmed Trump loyalists who are in the know. They remember how Mattis was Bill Kristol’s original pick to run third-party against Trump in Kristol’s bid to reduce Trump’s vote share to help Hillary Clinton win. When Mattis said no, and even obscure op-ed writer David French turned him down, Kristol threw his reduced weight behind Evan McMullin.

Roger Stone told Big League Politics months ago about how Mattis is consistently trying to get Trump on board with neocon initiatives like placing massive numbers of ground troops in Iraq:

Stone said that he is not concerned for the president because “There’s a real Trumpite in the White House, and his name happens to be Trump. Everybody in the White House told him to go into Syria. McMaster and Mattis put on the full court press. Well, guess what? Trump said he’s not going into Syria. So that’s that.”

“Trump is the only real Trumpite in the White House. Him and Steve Bannon. If Steve is forced out, there’s nobody with a frame of reference for who elected this guy.”

“General McMaster is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He’s a traditional thinking neocon. He wanted 150,000 ground troops,” Stone said. “They just like war. They’ve been for regime change everywhere. Libya. How did that work out? It’s the same thing.”

Stone said that President Trump is doing an above-average job at sticking to his campaign promises.

“The only shame comes when you don’t try,” he said. “The travel ban, they tried it twice and it didn’t work. So what? They’ll try it again. The base doesn’t hold you responsible if you lose. They hold you responsible if you don’t fight.”

 

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