National Security Council Spokesperson Flies the Coop

The White House has confirmed that Michael Anton, the top spokesperson for the National Security Council, is leaving the administration.

Caitlin MacNeal at TPM reports:
Reporting did not indicate that Anton left due to bad blood, but his departure coincides with beginning of John Bolton's run as national security adviser. Anton was brought on by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last year, but spent most of his time working under H.R. McMaster.

Anton is known for an essay he wrote during the 2016 election making the case for conservatives to back Donald Trump as a presidential candidate.

..."I will be forever grateful to [Donald] Trump for the opportunity to serve my country and implement his agenda," Anton told Politico.

So, ahead of Donald Trump agreeing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and in the middle of his escalating trade war with China, and while he's inflaming tensions with Mexico regarding immigration and trade, we've got an interim Secretary of State, a decimated State Department, a brand new National Security Advisor (who is a garbage nightmare), and no experienced spokesperson for the National Security Council.

All of which is just the tip of the unfathomable iceberg of disaster that is the United States shambolic foreign policy mess.

Trump has created urgent foreign policy problems where none existed, exacerbated problems that preexisted his presidency, and has catastrophically undermined the foreign policy apparatus that is meant to address national security crises.

And we are going to suffer the consequences of his capricious disregard for effective diplomacy.

Meanwhile, via Zeke Miller and Jill Colvin at the AP:
[Trump] is increasingly at odds with his staff — and growing wise to their tactics.

One favored staff strategy: Guide the president to the right decision by making the conventional choice seem like the only realistic option. Except now, 14 months into his administration, Trump is on to them, and he's making clear he won't be boxed in.

That was the message that an irritated Trump delivered to his national security team last week in a classified meeting about U.S. involvement in Syria.

Trump's advisers, among them Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, were advocating for an ongoing U.S. military presence to provide stability. They aimed to rely on the same playbook they used last year in persuading Trump to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan indefinitely. They would paint a dire picture of a pullout, of regional chaos benefiting Russia and Iran, and the potential resurgence of the Islamic State group.

But even before they could begin their pitch in that meeting Tuesday, Trump headed them off, saying he wanted to remove U.S. troops immediately. The ensuing heated argument put new distance between the president and his team and left the military with a mandate, if not a formal order, to remove U.S. troops from Syria within six months.
Except, that "dire picture" is hardly an exaggeration of the likely outcome.

It's not just the U.S. who will suffer the consequences of the U.S. president's capricious disregard for effective diplomacy and governance. It's people all over the world.

Trump was the worst possible person to trust with this job and the responsibility and power it entails. I grieve every day that he remains in office.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus