National security adviser Lt.
Gen. H.R. McMaster has spoken about the need for an “armed, self-reliant and well-trained” national defense force, saying it would be a “good thing” if the US were to be more “responsible in the future.”
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, McMaster, who was named to the National Security Council by President Donald Trump in January, noted that he is “a military veteran,” adding, “If you’re looking for someone to make the case for you, look no further than this man.”
McMaster was appointed as the Trump administration’s second-highest-ranking official after Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who resigned after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with Russian officials during the 2016 election.
In his interview with The Examiner, which was published Thursday, McMaster discussed the need to build a national defense that “is not dependent on an arms race.”
He said that “the military has to be responsible for its own security.”
McMaster also said he believes that it is important to “ensure that we have an armed, self of self-restraint force that is prepared to take on all threats to our nation.”
McMaster’s comments echo Trump’s national security advisor Michael Flynn’s resignation last week following revelations that he had misled Pence and other senior administration officials about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, which occurred after the 2016 presidential election.
“The military is not a nation state, it is an institution that needs to be held accountable for its actions,” McMaster told the Examiner.
“So, we need to be very responsible in the years to come and look to our military for leadership.”
He also praised military veterans and veterans groups for “being strong leaders” in the wake of the Flynn resignation.
McMaster, a former three-star general, served as deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2013 to 2015 and later served as chief of staff to President Donald J. Trump.
During his time as director of Central Intelligence, McMaster was instrumental in the agency’s effort to recruit a new generation of American officers to lead the agency.
According to The Washington Post, McMaster served as one of two finalists for the top position at Central Intelligence.
The other nominee was retired Lt.
General Michael Flynn.
McMaster was also named as the first person to serve as chief White House foreign policy adviser to President Jimmy Carter in January 2017.
Flynn, meanwhile, resigned as Trump’s National Security Advisor after he was found to have lied to Pence about communications with Kislyak in 2016.
The resignation followed a report by The Washington Times detailing a conversation with Flynn, which led to Pence declaring that Flynn had “incorrectly briefed” the vice president about the content of a December phone call he had with Kislyak.
In January, McMaster joined the Trump transition team as a senior adviser.
The appointment comes as McMaster’s appointment as the National Defense Council deputy national security director is being questioned.
The New York Times reported that the Pentagon has been investigating McMaster’s role in advising Trump during the election.
The investigation has been launched by a former special counsel investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.