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JAKE TAPPER (HOST): A source knowledgable about the day to day challenges of National Security Advisor Lietentant General H.R. McMaster describes to CNN an incredibly difficult work environment for the man who is trying to help President Trump steer this intense international crisis with North Korea. Quote, “McMaster knows that he is under attack from all sides in the building,” the source told me, “it’s ferocious,” noting that even people within the White House are trying to undermine McMaster and discredit him because he does not share their nationalistic foreign policy views. In the last couple weeks, however, the campaign against McMaster outside and inside the White House has intensified and now we’re getting a closer look at some of the rather extreme views McMaster is being pilloried for not sharing.
[Stephen] Bannon received a special waiver to continue talk to his former employees at Breitbart News where he served as chief executive and which he once described as a quote, “platform for the alt-right.” It’s a website that has launched attack after attack against McMaster in a slew of recent articles. Earlier this week, The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab noted that many of those stories, as well as other attacks against McMaster by fringe websites and figures including Infowars have been pushed on social media using the hashtag #FireMcMaster by a former Breitbart employee who now literally works for the Russian government as an employee of Sputnik News.
#FireMcMaster has also been pushed by fringe conspiracy theorists with social media presences who have occasionally been granted access to the White House briefing room by the Trump team. Also pushing this propaganda, someone not particularly influential but extremely noteworthy, Michael Flynn Jr., the son of one time top aide of the man who used to have McMaster’s job, General Michael Flynn. The Digital Forensic Research Lab notes that the hashtag spread partly because of fake or automatic accounts or bots.