by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Several Obama holdovers who led initiatives at odds with President Donald Trump’s foreign policy remain on the staff of National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.
About 40 of the National Security Council’s (NSC) 250 officials — nearly one in six — are Obama administration holdovers, according to TheDCNF’s analysis. The holdovers include NSC directors for Korea, China, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Eastern Europe, Israel-Palestine, South America, North Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. Holdovers also advise on weapons of mass destruction, counterterrorism, non-proliferation, arms control, defense policy, immigration, and homeland preparedness.
It’s been common practice in previous administrations to retain holdovers from an outgoing administration, and nearly all are on loan from other federal agencies. But current and former administration officials tell TheDCNF they are concerned that so many Obama era holdovers are still working at NSC eight months into the Trump administration.
“The problem is the allegiance they have to their former administration and their position and stances on national security,” said Col. James Waurishuk (Ret.), a 30-year veteran senior intelligence official and a former NSC official. “It’s crazy when they represent pretty much 180 degrees of what Trump is trying to do.”