Tag: National Security Council

White House Is Said to Open Internal Review of Ukraine Call

WASHINGTON — President Trump has for weeks sought to unmask the whistle-blower who shed light on his Ukraine dealings. But instead aides have fixated on one another: Advisers began a fact-finding review that some fear is a hunt for a scapegoat, according to White House aides and other people familiar with it. Even as the […]

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Bolton Objected to Ukraine Pressure Campaign, Calling Giuliani ‘a Hand Grenade’

WASHINGTON — The effort to pressure Ukraine for political help provoked a heated confrontation inside the White House last summer that so alarmed John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, that he told an aide to alert White House lawyers, House investigators were told on Monday. Mr. Bolton got into a sharp exchange on […]

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Ex-Trump Aide Fiona Hill to Testify on Pressure to Oust Ambassador to Ukraine

WASHINGTON — Fiona Hill, President Trump’s former top Russia and Europe adviser, headed to Capitol Hill on Monday morning where she is prepared to testify that she and other officials objected strenuously to the removal of the ambassador to Ukraine, only to be disregarded. Ms. Hill, who stepped down from the White House’s National Security […]

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Former Trump Aide to Testify on Pressure to Oust Ambassador to Ukraine

WASHINGTON — Fiona Hill, President Trump’s former top Russia and Europe adviser, headed to Capitol Hill on Monday morning where she is prepared to testify that she and other officials objected strenuously to the removal of the ambassador to Ukraine, only to be disregarded. Ms. Hill, who stepped down from the White House’s National Security […]

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2nd Official Is Weighing Whether to Blow the Whistle on Trump’s Ukraine Dealings

WASHINGTON — A second intelligence official who was alarmed by President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is weighing whether to file his own formal whistle-blower complaint and testify to Congress, according to two people briefed on the matter. The official has more direct information about the events than the first whistle-blower, whose complaint that Mr. Trump […]

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Schiff, House Intel Chairman, Got Early Account of Whistle-Blower’s Accusations

WASHINGTON — The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials. The early account by the […]

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The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained

WASHINGTON — The whistle-blower who revealed President Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukraine’s leader to open investigations that could benefit him politically also accused White House officials of essentially hiding a rough record of the conversation by placing it in the same highly restricted computer system for closely guarded government secrets. In his complaint, the whistle-blower […]

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Did the Trump White House Mishandle the Ukraine Call Memo?

The whistle-blower complaint and declassified call notes related to President Trump’s July 25 phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has rightly prompted serious questions about Mr. Trump and his administration’s conduct of foreign affairs, official record-keeping and use of national security systems to safeguard sensitive information. As the former senior director of the […]

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White House Classified Computer System Is Used to Hold Transcripts of Sensitive Calls

WASHINGTON — The White House put some reconstructed transcripts of delicate calls between President Trump and foreign officials, including President Vladimir V. Putin and the Saudi royal family, into a highly classified computer system after embarrassing leaks of his conversations, according to current and former officials. The handling of Mr. Trump’s calls with world leaders […]

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Whistle-Blower Shines Light on Potential ‘Abuse’ of Secret N.S.C. Computer System

WASHINGTON — When the White House first released the reconstructed transcript of President Trump’s July 25 phone conversation with the president of Ukraine, some former government officials noticed something peculiar about it. The document lacked a standard marking in its upper right-hand corner, known as a “package number,” or the number that the National Security […]

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Trump’s National Security Yes Man Is In for a Bumpy Ride

Setting aside the brief, disastrous tenure of Michael Flynn, two men have held the role of national security adviser under Donald Trump, and they could not be more different. H.R. McMaster was a pragmatic stickler who valued the customary interagency deliberations that shaped decision making at the National Security Council, and which President Trump found […]

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Trump Names Robert O’Brien, Hostage Mediator, as National Security Adviser

LOS ANGELES — President Trump selected Robert C. O’Brien, the State Department’s chief hostage negotiator, to become his national security adviser on Wednesday, moving to reconstitute his foreign policy staff even as he faces rising tension with Iran. Mr. Trump announced the selection on Twitter shortly after saying he would also “substantially increase Sanctions” on […]

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For Mike Pompeo, a Moment of Singular Influence

WASHINGTON — It took about five minutes after John R. Bolton’s unceremonious fall from grace this week before Washington’s official whisper factory started floating a surprising suggestion for a replacement: Mike Pompeo. Not that Mr. Pompeo would give up his post as secretary of state to succeed Mr. Bolton as national security adviser. Instead, he […]

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Climate Denialist to Depart White House National Security Council

WASHINGTON — William Happer, the White House architect of a stalled plan to attack the established science of climate change, is leaving the Trump administration on Friday, according to three people familiar with his plans. Dr. Happer, a physicist who gained notoriety by claiming that the greenhouse gases contributing to warming the planet are beneficial […]

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‘Trump Unplugged’: A President as His Own National Security Adviser

WASHINGTON — On one foreign policy issue after another, John R. Bolton was the in-house skeptic who checked President Trump’s most unorthodox instincts. Whether it was talking to North Korea, cooperating with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia or inviting the Taliban to Camp David, he was the national security adviser who said no. Mr. […]

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Who Could Replace John Bolton?

President Trump on Tuesday announced the departure of John R. Bolton as his national security adviser, the third person to hold the job since the beginning of the Trump administration. Though the White House has said Mr. Bolton’s current deputy, Charles M. Kupperman, will take over in the interim, Mr. Trump has said he will […]

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How John Bolton Broke the National Security Council

The irony of John Bolton’s tenure as national security adviser, which ended Monday night and was confirmed by presidential tweet on Tuesday morning, is that upon the news of his initial appointment, most foreign-policy experts in Washington worried about the damage Mr. Bolton could do abroad. He was known for his hard-line views on North […]

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Firing John Bolton Doesn’t Make You a Pacifist

Nothing about Donald Trump’s contentious Tuesday tweet-firing of National Security Advisor John Bolton was hugely surprising. Bolton, a prickle of a man notorious for his whiskery affect and grenade-lobbing neoconservatism, had long seen his influence fading in the White House, particularly after the latest rift opened between him and Trump insiders over the now-dead Afghanistan […]

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Firing John Bolton Doesn’t Make Trump a Pacifist

Nothing about Donald Trump’s contentious Tuesday tweet-firing of National Security Advisor John Bolton was hugely surprising. Bolton, a prickle of a man notorious for his whiskery affect and grenade-lobbing neoconservatism, had long seen his influence fading in the White House, particularly after the latest rift opened between him and Trump insiders over the now-dead Afghanistan […]

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They Each Backed Off Strikes: Trump in ’19, Obama in ’13, Clinton in ’98

WASHINGTON — The president calls off a missile strike on a Middle Eastern country at the last minute, overruling his national security advisers, confusing allies and adversaries, and provoking criticism from hawks in his own party, who warn that his vacillation could erode America’s credibility in a dangerous world. That was President Barack Obama facing […]

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