America’s Unelected ‘Deep State’ Pushes Hidden Agenda, Says Judicial Watch Panel

The U.S. Capitol Building is lit at sunset in Washington on Dec. 20, 2016. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo)

Epoch Times, by Joshua Philipp, Sept. 17, 2017:

A group of career politicians often referred to as the “Deep State” or the “permanent government” is pushing an agenda that goes against the Constitution and U.S. law, while also selectively leaking information to manipulate public perception.

These were among the claims from a panel of experts in a Sept. 15 video from the conservative, nonpartisan watchdog group Judicial Watch, which followed its publication of a report that exposed the unelected government of the United States often referred to as the Deep State. [CJR – Be sure to read that report!]

According to Judicial Watch, the Deep State is a bureaucracy of permanent officials in branches across the U.S. government who share a common far-left agenda, and use their positions to selectively enforce or block actions based on their own interests. Being in unelected positions, the Deep State is able to continue its activities regardless of who the sitting president is.

Key Issues

Diana West, journalist and author of the book “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character,” said during the panel that the Deep State represents “unconstitutional powers, exercised by strange, illegitimate branchlets of the U.S. government that are in no way restrained by the balance of powers.”

The Deep State came to the surface during the presidential campaign, mainly to challenge Donald Trump, and it has continued to operate relatively in the open while trying to undermine Trump’s presidency.

A few key issues appear to have irked the Deep State, West noted, which are Trump’s positions on immigration, national trade and tariffs, radical Islam, his bid to end wars not fought over American core interests, and the restoration of American sovereignty.

These issues are typically not on the table during political debates of government candidates belonging to the establishment. She said, “These issues have essentially been taken from us by the powers that always seem to be, they were settled, and then along came Trump.”

She noted that these issues provide clues to the ideology of the Deep State: “[The Deep State] shows itself to be fanatically globalist and anti-nationalist. It is interventionist. It favors mass immigration and even open borders. It supports free trade.” She said the Deep State also appears to support radical and political Islam.

Its policies, she said, “are building blocks of a Socialist ‘paradise.’” Members of this permanent structure appear to exist not just among Democrats but also among Republicans, she said.

“During my own campaign coverage, I was able to find striking similarities between the beliefs of mainstream, anti-Trump Republicans and the programs set forth in a 1932 book called ‘Towards Soviet America,’” she said, referring to the 1932 book written by William Foster, who was chairman of the Communist Party USA, which is believed to have operated under the auspices of the Soviet Union.

White House as ‘Enemy’

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, former Deputy Assistant to the President who only recently left his job in the White House, shared his own experiences with the Deep State from his position in the Trump Administration.

“I’ve seen the worst of the worst, the first seven months, of how the bureaucracy responded to the administration of Donald J. Trump,” he said, noting that within the government, the Deep State operates overtly, in plain view.

“It was in our faces. It was arrogant. It was right there in the surface of our policy discussions at the White House,” he said. “This is not just a reaction to a New York mogul who became president. This has been brewing for decades, truly decades.”

Among the ways the Deep State has reacted to the Trump presidency is with selective leaks to the media. Gorka noted there were 125 national security leaks in the first 126 days of the Trump administration, and at least 60 of those leaks were of “serious national security matters.”

Gorka explained one of his own encounters with the Deep State, noting that as a former professor he has taught many young men and women in the national security field. When he entered the White House, he wanted to bring over some of his students who were now members of the intelligence community.

“I identified the three best individuals, and requested—as a deputy assistant to the president—that these people be detailed over to me at the White House to work on key projects of importance to Steve [Bannon] and the President,” he said.

“In the six months I was in office, not one of those people was detailed over to me from an unnamed sister agency,” he said.

Not only were the individuals not moved, as requested, but Gorka said he later discovered, “not only did the sister agency stop their detailing, every single individual was taken off their current duty roster and punished, and put into menial tasks.”

“Why?” he said. “Because the seventh floor of that agency, to quote a senior individual, ‘looks at the White House as the enemy.’”

The ‘Shadow Government’

While Gorka did not name the agency, he did mention the “seventh floor.” It has long been known that individuals on the seventh floor of the State Department operate what the FBI has referred to in its reports as “The Shadow Government.”

The FBI described The Shadow Government in a 2016 report on the investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It stated “There was a powerful group of very high-ranking STATE officials that some referred to as ‘The 7th Floor Group’ or ‘The Shadow Government.’” It said the group met every Wednesday afternoon to discuss public information requests and “everything CLINTON-related to FOIA/Congressional inquiries.”

The FBI gave a partial list of individuals who regularly attended meetings of The Shadow Government that included former Secretary of State John Kerry and his Chief of Staff and Director of Policy Planning Jonathan Finer, Deputy Chief of Staff Jennifer Stout, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom, Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Julia Frifield, and an individual referred to only as “Kennedy.” Several other names were redacted.

The FBI report also noted the group changed protocols on how documents on Clinton were released, and noted the group “did have control of the release process for the approximately 30,000 emails, or 52,455 pages related to the CLINTON FOIA request, and it was decided to be a rolling release.”

The permanent bureaucrats on the State Department’s seventh floor also have a notorious reputation among members of the U.S. intelligence community, who refer to them as “bow ties,” “Mandarins,” and “Black Dragons.”

The Black Dragons were described in a 2010 report from geopolitical intelligence company Stratfor as “a powerful element within the State Department that is averse to security and does its best to thwart security programs.”

Anti-American Agenda

Todd Shepherd, an investigative reporter at the Washington Examiner, said the Deep State violates a basic duty of the American government, sharing information with the people.

“Under the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of representative government that adheres to the principle that government is the servant and not the master of the people,” Shepherd said, “it is the policy of this state that each person is entitled, unless expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees.”

“The people, in delegating that authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is good for them not to know,” Shepherd said. “The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”

James Peterson, senior attorney at Judicial Watch, noted the Deep State aggressively blocks freedom of information requests on select information. In his own experience, they have continued to selectively block information regardless of who the sitting president is.

“The permanent state, the Deep State, the bureaucracy is intent to remain, and is planning to,” Peterson said.  In spite of efforts through the courts to obtain information, Peterson said, “it is difficult at each stage.”

Gorka noted that the functions of the Deep State go against the Constitution and its guidelines on the structures and functions of government. Government agencies, he said, are supposed to work for the White House, which is supposed to represent the American people. He noted, “they co-opt the media into being willing or unwitting agents in a very selective flow of information.”

In these agencies, “you are there to serve the interests of the President who has been duly elected by the electoral college, which represents the American people,” he said, and noted the Deep State’s view that a presidential administration is its enemy “leads to very, very dangerous things.”

“The philosophical underpinnings of what put Donald J. Trump into the White House is sovereignty—that a sovereign nation is a healthy nation. And the swamp vehemently, philosophically disagrees with that,” he said.

In the government today, Gorka said, there are a large number of people who have already been in power for many years, and believe they’ll still be in power regardless of the sitting president, and so they play by their own rules. He noted, “That’s not democracy, and that’s not the American way.”

CJR: Interestingly, the core value of Sovereignty is being heavily used now in the talking points by White House spokespersons. Also mentioned by Gorka are the “Sherpas” that guide the new cabinet appointees into each agency. Go to 42 min. in the main video where Gorka dramatically turns to the camera and addresses the “good guys” in the audience on the importance of having your people in place in these roles before you undertake a political insurgency such as Trump’s.

***

He are some shorter clips:

Swamp Creatures Series

Center for Security Policy, by Frank Gaffney, Sept. 6, 2017:

The Center for Security Policy has launched a new “Swamp Creatures Series” to identify individuals in the national security establishment starting with the National Security Council (NSC) itself. National Security Adviser (NSA) H.R. McMaster has repeatedly hired, retained and promoted staff whose records suggest their hostility towards President Trump’s policies and the agenda he ran on.

Center for Security Policy President Frank J. Gaffney unveiled the new series in an interview with Breitbart Radio host Raheem Kassam. He warned that, when combined with NSA McMaster’s rank insubordination (for example, his rejection of President Trump’s term “radical Islamic terrorism”) and his serial and often public repudiations of the President’s policies (notably, with respect to Iran, Qatar, Syria, Afghanistan, Israel and the Muslim Brotherhood), McMaster is surrounding President Trump with individuals on the NSC who oppose the Trump agenda – and purging those that support Trump – amounts to a “coup d’etat with respect to foreign and defense policy.”

With the release of the first installment in the Swamp Creatures Series, Mr. Gaffney announced:

President Trump ran for office on a platform that is, in important respects, at odds with the views of Lieutenant General McMaster and virtually all of those now populating the National Security Council staff. Ronald Reagan understood that “personnel is policy.” If those who are nominally Mr. Trump’s personnel actually support policies he ran against, the people who elected him will be grievously disappointed – and disserved. So will Donald Trump.

The Center intends to provide on an ongoing basis evidence of the degree to which President Trump has been saddled with staff who may be loyal to Gen. McMaster’s vision and priorities and, for example, those of Barack Obama, but would be hard-pressed faithfully to advance those of the incumbent Commander-in-Chief.

An example of how this works in practice can be found in the disagreement between President Trump and Gen. McMaster regarding the Obamabomb deal with Iran. Mr. Trump has repeatedly reviled what then-Secretary of State John Kerry finally confessed was just a “political understanding” as the worst agreement ever negotiated. McMaster, nonetheless, has aggressively supported continued U.S. adherence to the Iran Deal. In April, the President reportedly ordered his subordinates to prepare for him an alternative to certifying that Iran was in compliance with the deal and that it is in the interest of the United States. He is said to have been furious when no such option was provided ninety days later, compelling him once again to affirm such an inaccurate certification.

#1 Fernando Cutz – National Security Council

Administration Sources: Creepy Tweet Was a Coded Message to General McMaster About Leakers

National security adviser H.R. McMaster speaks during the news briefing at the White House, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

PJ Media, by David Steinburg, Sept. 6, 2017:

A story fantastically strange, dancing between lowbrow and stupid, and it matters: this masterwork of a news item belongs in a time capsule, one day making the case to our descendants that we were, at least, blessed to live in interesting times.

Because this sort of thing happens in 2017, an alt-right crank who hasn’t won anyone’s trust beyond that of his loyal travelers seems to have become the white-whale obsession of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

Also, a multi-national public relations campaign which occupied much of August — a campaign seemingly intended to repair General McMaster’s reputation with the President of the United States, to sully the reputation of Trump loyalists whom McMaster had removed from the National Security Council, and to drive out Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, all in one shot — may have been unintentionally destroyed by said alt-Right crank tweeting the words …

“Spirit Animal” :

Mike Cernovich posted this tweet on August 11. To an objective observer, that’s inscrutable nonsense. And — also objectively — it’s creepy.

But when considered with its actual context, and pivotally, its timing, that rational observer should be driven to conclude that, ahem, the “McMaster what’s your spirit animal” tweet is a political thunderbolt with ramifications much beyond what Cernovich appears to have intended.

Here goes:

Sources within the Trump Administration claim that the “spirit animal” tweet is a reference to a small meeting that McMaster and select others within the National Security Council held in the days prior to August 11.

At that meeting, attendees reportedly joked about each other’s “spirit animals.” Indeed, as of this writing, I cannot neither confirm nor deny that a prominent member of the NSC is imbued with the soul of a platypus.

Since August 11, Cernovich has offered other information that also points to him having sourcing within the NSC. However, the “spirit animal” tweet reportedly represented a more concerning breach. Yet even so, the breach itself is of less evident concern to McMaster and his supporters than is the fact of its August 11 publication.

Why?

Because if Cernovich still had a source leaking to him on that date or in the days immediately prior, then the tweet necessarily deconstructs much of the past month’s administration-orchestrated media defense of General McMaster’s personnel decisions.

———————–

In early August, General McMaster came under enormous pressure — spearheaded by the Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick and the Zionist Organization of America’s Morton Klein — for having seemingly purged the NSC of all members who aligned with candidate Trump’s Mideast policy. “Radical Islamic terror” and the destruction of the Iran nuclear deal was out; the continuance of Obama-era policies behind the “Arab Spring” catastrophe had apparently returned.

Wrote Glick on August 2:

McMaster disagrees and actively undermines Trump’s agenda on just about every salient issue on his agenda. He fires all of Trump’s loyalists and replaces them with Trump’s opponents, like Kris Bauman, an Israel hater and Hamas supporter who McMaster hired to work on the Israel-Palestinian desk.

He allows anti-Israel, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Iran Obama people like Robert Malley to walk around the NSC and tell people what to do and think. He has left Ben (reporters know nothing about foreign policy and I lied to sell them the Iran deal) Rhodes’ and Valerie Jarrett’s people in place.

And he not only is remaining at his desk. He is given the freedom to fire Trump’s most loyal foreign policy advisers from the National Security Council.

On August 9, Morton Klein released a statement on behalf of the ZOA which included this passage:

The duties of the National Security Council (NSC) include “coordinat[ing] and direct[ing] the activities of the United States Government relating to combating transnational threats.” 50 U.S.C. § 3021(i). It is thus alarming that National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster purged from the NSC those officials who were carrying out President Trump’s policies of combating Iranian and radical Islamist transnational threats, and purged from the NSC those officials who support the U.S.-Israel alliance — an alliance that is vital to America’s ability to combat radical Islamist terrorism.

Instead, General McMaster has appointed officials who are holdovers from the Obama administration, who favor the Iran nuclear deal and are hostile to Israel — officials who are diametrically opposed to President Trump’s policies. Moreover, new revelations demonstrate that General McMaster’s ideology is antagonistic to the President’s policies on these vital issues.

Since then, McMaster and a large contingent of administration and media allies have chosen to defend his behavior primarily as the restoration of Executive Branch decorum and as the necessary removal of “alt-Right” thinkers. These defenses included implications that the purged members had been leaking to the disreputable Mike Cernovich.

With “spirit animal,” however, Cernovich managed the improbable feat of wiping out several weeks of PR crafted by some of the administration’s most powerful figures, because the fact of his tweet’s August 11 publication date establishes the following truth:

On the date of the “spirit animal” meeting, NO ONE with fealty to Trump’s aggressively pro-Israel, anti-Obama/Iran nuclear deal campaign platform — without which, he likely loses to Hillary — remained at the NSC.

Yet Cernovich’s source was still in the room.

So we now have a strong repudiation of the narrative component of the purge which — with the later resignation of Sebastian Gorka (who had long been unwelcome at the NSC) and his public resignation note confirming that such a purge had indeed been afoot — successfully removed every Trump Administration official aligned with Trump’s campaign promises regarding national security.

————

On August 11, I published a story at PJ Media identifying the National Security Council officials whom administration sources claim had been coordinating August’s public relations defense of McMaster. My concern at that time was the apparent dishonesty in how McMaster’s defenders have attacked both his critics and the members of NSC whom McMaster has fired or otherwise helped remove:

Deputy National Security Adviser Rick Waddell, Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Gulf States Joel Rayburn, and Yll Bajraktari, a former special assistant to the deputy secretary of defense during the Obama administration, have been coordinating an extensive public relations campaign in support of embattled National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, according to multiple sources.

Members of the national security community who spoke with PJ Media describe the talking points used during this effort to defend McMaster’s tenure as NSA as “absurd,” “dishonest,” and “comically inaccurate.” But sources primarily expressed anger regarding insinuations that NSC members fired by McMaster or otherwise no longer in their positions — such as K.T. McFarland, Rich Higgins, Adam Lovinger, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, and Derek Harvey — are gone for reasons other than ideology.

Over the past week, several media accounts have painted them as “conspiratorial” members of the “alt-right,” possibly leaking information to the controversial Mike Cernovich, and possibly working in tandem with Russian social media accounts. Such claims, which have been picked up by several outlets, are reportedly doing lasting damage to reputations and careers.

Further, multiple sources believe McMaster and his allies within the administration are using such “career-ending” “swamp” tactics with the knowledge that the fired members and supportive colleagues — due to the nature of their careers within the national security realm — do not necessarily have the option of defending themselves in the public sphere.

Yes, Mike Cernovich does indeed have sourcing within the administration. And apparently he has occasionally released accurate information regarding the workings of the NSC. However, I’m hard-pressed to find anyone who was aware of this situation prior to reading of it in this August 4 piece in The Atlantic. And that should lead our objective observer towards identifying cynical motives behind Cernovich receiving unwarranted attention from McMaster.

In that article, the Atlantic’s Rosie Gray revealed that — among the myriad leaks to various outlets that are assumed to have originated from the NSC, including the Washington Post’s atrocious decision to publish transcripts of President Trump’s phone calls with two foreign statesmen — McMaster had seemingly prioritized plugging the leak to the popular-within-the-alt-Right-but-otherwise-irrelevant Cernovich. Sources could only speculate as to why McMaster has been so concerned with the one voice that could be most simply dispatched as a purveyor of false information. Indeed, Cernovich — recall “Pizzagate”? — has otherwise carried out that mission on his own.

But it’s clear that, as August came, Cernovich was a useful foil for defending McMaster against charges of purging the NSC of conservatives.

Suddenly, America was being told that McMaster had not been systematically removing those who questioned his embrace of the Obama-era policy of discounting the Islamic roots of terror and jihad. Instead, as we were told, McMaster was indeed tough on Iran and Mahmoud Abbas, and had actually been doing Trump’s bidding by removing “alt-Right” liabilities suspected of leaking to a man with the reputation of a conspiracist kook.

Throughout August, elements of this narrative were spread by influential outlets and think tanks, by Sunday morning talk shows, by Senator John McCain, by the U.S. ambassador to Israel, and even by a friendly in the Netanyahu administration.

Perhaps Senator McCain’s contribution most shamelessly embraced the smear tactic. McCain released a statement declaring that the outside pressure to have General McMaster removed from the NSC — which, as all of D.C. knew at the timepresumably including McCain, had been spearheaded by former IDF captain Caroline Glick and Morton Klein, child of Holocaust survivors and president of the Zionist Organization of America — instead arose “from the same purveyors of hatred and ignorance who precipitated the recent violence in Charlottesville.”

Yes — Senator McCain employed shameless expediency to turn “Glick and Klein” into … the Klan.

And until now, that disingenuous campaign had been remarkably successful.

“McMaster is purging the alt-Right leakers” soon became “McMaster can’t work with alt-Right leaker Steve Bannon and alt-Right leaker Sebastian Gorka.” Both are out. Truly, everyone who had been brought on as complementary to Trump’s Mideast campaign promises is now out, as Sebastian Gorka summarized in his public resignation letter.

But Cernovich’s leaker is still there.

—————-

So America is now presented with two options to consider regarding what has transpired throughout 2017 at the NSC under National Security Adviser McMaster:

A. Either McMaster has chosen to restaff the NSC only with people loyal to Mideast policy he has embraced throughout his recent career, even though his policy preferences are in intractable opposition to those of the current Commander-in-Chief; or —

B. Several career intelligence officials of high regard, all of whom shared the distinction of having been selected for duty at the NSC because they were loyalists to Trump’s Mideast platform, somehow became Trump antagonists once McMaster, the real Trump loyalist, was appointed to lead them.

Then some of these officials, concerned about McMaster’s leadership, decided to risk their careers by leaking private, even confidential, information to the media.

Having made this decision, they then considered which outlet was the wisest choice for disseminating their concerns, and lo, they went with … Pizzagate guy.

So August’s narrative needs to end now, and wondrously, it’s all due to a creepy tweet from an apparent conspiracist who may or may not have realized what he was doing. While normal, everyday Americans hopefully get a kick out of that, the media needs to return to demanding McMaster answer everyone’s initial questions:

  1.  Why did you purge the NSC of every official loyal to Trump’s Middle East campaign platform?
  2. Why have you instead placed Obama administration holdovers in key positions?

Gorka: Bureaucrats, Policymakers Opposing Trump Agenda

Sebastian Gorka / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, Aug. 30, 2017:

President Trump’s agenda has been stymied by government bureaucrats and some of his political appointees opposed to tougher policies on terrorism and new approaches to countering Chinese economic warfare, former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka says.

Gorka, until recently deputy assistant to the president and a counterterrorism expert, resigned on Monday following the departure of several senior national security officials who were forced out or sidelined as part of an effort to purge the White House of conservative hardliners.

The most significant departure was the resignation of chief White House strategist Steve Bannon who Gorka directly worked for.

“Why did I resign? Very simply, I came on board because I believed in the president’s Make America Great Again agenda, and part of that was a very clear national security stance on the threat of radical Islamic terrorism to this nation,” Gorka told the Washington Free Beacon.

“And the real believers, the real ‘MAGA’ fighters inside the building were being progressively boxed out, or fired from the [National Security Council] which was even more disturbing.”

The catalyst for leaving was the president’s Aug. 21 speech on Afghanistan. Until the speech, the president frequently railed against radical Islamic terrorism. But all references to Islamic terror were scrubbed from the speech.

“When you have a speech, a very significant national security speech on the longest war America has been engaged against jihadism, against al Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban and there is not one mention of radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism, we have a serious problem,” Gorka said. “And that’s when I realized that I can do a lot more for the president on the outside of the building than I can on the inside of the building.”

Gorka declined to name names of those in the White House and government opposing the president’s agenda.

But he outlined several key policies that were hampered by opposition from what he termed the “permanent state” of establishment bureaucrats and policymakers.

Gorka for eight months in office was the target of unprecedented media and congressional attacks from critics who sought to portray the counterterrorism specialist as a right wing extremist who lacked credentials. Supporters dubbed the attacks a “political lynching.”

“Having been the target of so much palace intrigue and attacks in the last eight months, I’m not interested in fueling the palace intrigue stories any further so I’m not going to talk about individuals,” he said.

Gorka’s main takeaway from working in the White House: The president is not being supported in pursuing his agenda.

“If you ask me kind of what the big take home is from working at that kind of level inside the government, the most disturbing thing I found is not just the lack of commitment to the president’s vision from political appointees that came in to serve the president as commissioned officers or as cabinet members,” he said.

“The real moment when the scales fell from my eyes is when after I’d been to numerous National Security Council meetings—I wasn’t a member of the NSC but I was invited to various key meetings—and you sit there for an hour, or an hour and half listening as you go around to the various outstations, State, CIA, DIA, the Pentagon, all the arms of the interagency.

“And you listen for an hour, or an hour and half, and nobody, not one participant would mention the president, or what the president said, or what the president’s mission was.”

Gorka said he made sure to remind all the meeting participants at each session about what Trump had said in his speech in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, or Warsaw, Poland, or to Congress that all were there to serve the chief executive.

Government officials are not paid to “represent your own ideological desires,” or because they think they know more than the person ultimately responsibility for the federal government, he said.

“I can’t tell you how many meetings I went to where I would have to remind everybody participating: This is what the president wants and this is the mission we’re here to serve,” Gorka said.

“I don’t like the phrase Deep State, but there is definitely a permanent state that in far too many instances believes that they represent the American people when they were never elected to office and when they actually serve the White House and not the other way around.”

Gorka worked on several security issues at the White House. Much of his focus, however, was on decertifying the Obama administration’s questionable nuclear deal with Iran; designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, as several Arab sates have done; dealing with Arab world pressure on Qatar for its sponsorship of extremism; and seeking to counter China’s massive theft of intellectual property from U.S. companies.

“We have some very distinct policy divergences inside the building,” Gorka said.

Key among them is opposition from administration policymakers who have diluted Trump’s stance on the threat posed by Islamic jihadism while seeking to reinforce President Barack Obama’s policies that dealt with Islamic terror as unrelated to ideology and motivated by other factors.

On Iran, Gorka said he took part in one heated debate in the Oval Office against Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who supported having the administration recertify that Tehran was complying with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“It was only Steve Bannon and me—and the president—who were saying this a bad deal and we should not recertify,” Gorka said.

The State Department made the certification of Iranian compliance in July.

“The threat to America doesn’t just come from Sunni jihadism,” Gorka. “The threat from a nuclear Iran and the Shia jihadism is a very clear and present danger.”

Gorka vowed to continue fighting against the Iran deal from outside government “because that deal must not be recertified.”

“It is incredibly detrimental to the safety of America and to our allies in the region,” he said.

On China, Gorka said he is more optimistic about future administration policies but said there is widespread opposition from within government and the business community to pressuring China on its illicit trade practices. China trade policy remains on a “relatively sure footing,” he said.

On Aug. 18, he noted, the U.S. Trade Representative formally launched an investigation into China’s theft of intellectual property. China has said the probe could trigger a trade war.

Gorka said despite the purge of conservatives, three senior officials in the White House remain “who have their heads screwed on right when it comes to the massive effort on the economic warfare we are currently being subjected to by Beijing.”

“At the moment they’re winning,” he said. “It is trench warfare on that issue inside the establishment because the Silicon Valley business interests have all but capitulated to Chinese hegemonic interests, economically.”

On Qatar, Gorka praised the president for pressuring Arab leaders during his speech in Saudi Arabia urging them to do more to help the United States counter terrorism.

“In front of the arrayed heads of state of the Muslim Arab world, he literally said you must drive the Muslim extremists from your houses of worship and your communities,” Gorka said. “So he gave those nations tough love.”

In June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE cut ties to Doha government accusing Qatar of backing terrorists and supporting Iran. Regional allies backed the action.

But in Washington, Trump administration officials tried to undermine the pressure that Trump had started on Qatar, Gorka said.

“I kept hearing this in the meetings, at the [Policy Coordination Committee] and the NSC … everybody having conniptions about, ‘we can’t escalate, you’ve got to de-escalate, you’ve got to deescalate.’ Wrong. The president, the president, said this is the time to maintain or even increase pressure so that we finally see a significant change to the policies toward funding and the providing of succor to extremist elements in the Middle East,” Gorka said.

Gorka said the political battle over designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group was fierce and eventually was stifled by bureaucrats and political pressure from Brotherhood supporters in government agencies, Congress, and the news media.

“Pulling out of the Paris climate accord was child’s play by comparison to designating the grandfather of all jihadi groups,” Gorka said of that debate.

“You know moving the [U.S.] embassy to Jerusalem and designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization—as several Arab state already have done—are the two heaviest lifts that we encountered inside the building and it’s really quite stunning,” he said.

The Egyptian-origin Muslim Brotherhood is an international organization that advocates anti-democratic Islamic law supremacy. Analysts say the group is the ideological forebear of all the major terrorist groups including the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

In the United States, the group is largely covert and has operated through front organizations that seek to exploit American concepts of religious liberty to advance the Islamist political agenda.

“In the beginning, the key question was do we designate individual chapters, or go for an en bloc designation,” Gorka said. “That’s what we spent many, many months discussing. And then we just had bureaucratic inertia, and those sympathetic to the Brotherhood and its offshoots within the belly of the beast that constantly pushed back.”

Gorka vowed to work outside the administration to seek the designation of the Brotherhood as a terrorist group, working with the White House, State Department, and Congress, as well as seeking to educate the general public on the threat posed by the group. “So the game’s not over,” he said.

Gorka denied he was fired, as several news outlets reported after his resignation was announced. He blamed the false reports on a low-level White House communications office staff member who falsely put out word that he did not leave voluntarily.

“I emailed Chief of Staff [John] Kelly after the Afghan speech the president gave last week,” Gorka said. “I requested a meeting with him for this Monday to tender my resignation. On Friday afternoon I spoke to him on the phone and told him I had resigned as of that day, as of last Friday, and I reinforced that to him an email afterward. So those are the facts of the matter.”

Trump telephoned him the day after the resignation to say he was very grateful for Gorka’s support and the work he had done. The president also promised to “stick to his agenda,” Gorka said.

Gorka said he told Trump he would continue to back the president. “I said in response to him that I will be supporting him on the outside.”

One news report said Gorka resigned after Kelly informed him his interim security clearance would not be finalized.

Critics have said several key players in the White House were forced out by politically motivated security officials who used the security clearance system to prevent certain officials from receiving Top-Secret security clearances, a requirement for White House policy work.

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Dr. Gorka has been giving many interviews since he left the White House. Here is the latest with Breitbart.

Gorka: ‘We’re Starting MAGA Phase Two’ and Working from Outside to Support President Trump

Gorka: Trump Has Best Instincts, but Obama Holdovers Are ‘Massive Problem’

Gorka: China Is ‘Executing Economic Warfare Against Us Right Now’

McMaster’s NSC Coup Against Trump Purges Critics of Islam and Obama

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Aug. 4, 2017:

Derek Harvey was a man who saw things coming. He had warned of Al Qaeda when most chose to ignore it. He had seen the Sunni insurgency rising when most chose to deny it.

The former Army colonel had made his reputation by learning the lay of the land. In Iraq that meant sleeping on mud floors and digging into documents to figure out where the threat was coming from.

It was hard to imagine anyone better qualified to serve as President Trump’s top Middle East adviser at the National Security Council than a man who had been on the ground in Iraq and who had seen it all.

Just like in Iraq, Harvey began digging at the NSC. He came up with a list of Obama holdovers who were leaking to the press. McMaster, the new head of the NSC, refused to fire any of them.

McMaster had a different list of people he wanted to fire. It was easy to make the list. Harvey was on it.

All you had to do was name Islamic terrorism as the problem and oppose the Iran Deal. If you came in with Flynn, you would be out. If you were loyal to Trump, your days were numbered.

And if you warned about Obama holdovers undermining the new administration, you were a target.

One of McMaster’s first acts at the NSC was to ban any mention of “Obama holdovers.” Not only did the McMaster coup purge Harvey, who had assembled the holdover list, but his biggest target was Ezra Watnick-Cohen, who had exposed the eavesdropping on Trump officials by Obama personnel.

Ezra Watnick-Cohen had provided proof of the Obama surveillance to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. McMaster, however, was desperately working to fire him and replace him with Linda Weissgold. McMaster’s choice to replace Watnick-Cohen was the woman who helped draft the Benghazi talking points which blamed the Islamic terrorist attack on a video protest.

After protests by Bannon and Kushner, President Trump overruled McMaster. Watnick-Cohen stayed. For a while. Now Ezra Watnick-Cohen has been fired anyway.

According to the media, Watnick-Cohen was guilty of “anti-Muslim fervor” and “hardline views.” And there’s no room for anyone telling the truth about Islamic terrorism at McMaster’s NSC.

McMaster had even demanded that President Trump refrain from telling the truth about Islamic terrorism.

Another of his targets was Rich Higgins, who had written a memo warning of the role of the left in undermining counterterrorism. Higgins had served as a director for strategic planning at the NSC. He had warned in plain language about the threat of Islamic terrorism, of Sharia law, of the Hijrah colonization by Islamic migrants, of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of its alliance with the left as strategic threats.

Higgins had stood by Trump during the Khizr Khan attacks. And he had written a memo warning that “the left is aligned with Islamist organizations at local, national, and international levels” and that “they operate in social media, television, the 24-hour news cycle in all media and are entrenched at the upper levels of the bureaucracies.”

Like Harvey and Ezra Watnick-Cohen, Higgins had warned of an enemy within. And paid the price.

McMaster’s cronies had allegedly used the NSC’s email system to track down the source of the memo. The left and its useful idiots were indeed entrenched at the upper level of the bureaucracy.

Higgins was fired.

Like Harvey and Watnick-Cohen, Higgins had also become too dangerous to the Obama holdovers. Harvey had assembled a list of names and a plan to dismantle the Iranian nuclear deal. Watnick-Cohen had dug into the Obama surveillance of Trump officials. And Higgins had sought to declassify Presidential Study Directive 11. PSD-11 was the secret blueprint of Obama’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Pete Hoekstra, the former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, linked PSD-11 to the rise of ISIS and called for its declassification.

Replacing Harvey is Michael Bell. When the Washington Post needed someone to badmouth Dr. Gorka, they turned to Bell: the former chancellor of the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University.  Bell suggested that Dr. Gorka was an uneven scholar. And Dr. Gorka was accused of failing to incorporate other perspectives on Islam.

The pattern has never been hard to spot.

McMaster forced out K.T. McFarland from her role as Deputy National Security Advisor. Slotted in was Dina Habib-Powell.

McFarland was an Oxford and Cambridge grad who had worked at the Pentagon for the Reagan administration. Dina Habib-Powell had no national security background. She was an Egyptian-American immigrant and former Bush gatekeeper whose pals included Huma Abedin and Valerie Jarrett.

Powell, who has been described as the Republican Humasaid that Abedin “feels a deep responsibility to encourage more mutual understanding between her beliefs and culture and American culture.”

When visiting Egypt, Habib-Powell had assured the locals of how Bush, after September 11, “visited a mosque, took off his shoes and paid his respects.” “I see the president talk of Islam as a religion of peace, I see him host an iftar every year,” she gushed.

K.T. McFarland had written that “Global Islamist jihad is at war with all of Western civilization.”

It’s not hard to see why McMaster pushed out McFarland and elevated Habib-Powell.

Habib-Powell had attended the Iftar dinner with members of Muslim Brotherhood front groups. You can see her photographed at the American Task Force of Palestine gala. The ATFP was originally Rashid Khalidi’s American Committee on Jerusalem. She was there as a presenter at the Middle East Institute after a speech by Hanan Ashrawi. Her achievements under Bush included cultural exchanges with Iran, as well as cash for the Palestinian Authority and for Lebanon after the Hezbollah war with Israel.

While President Trump fights to restrict Muslim immigration, at his side is the woman who had once bragged on CNN, “Over 90% of student visas are now issued in under a week, and that is in the Middle East.”

But that is typical of the McMaster revamp of the NSC. It’s populated by swamp creatures who oppose the positions that President Trump ran on. And who are doing everything possible to undermine them.

President Trump promised a reset from Obama’s anti-Israel policies. McMaster picked Kris Bauman as the NSC’s point man on Israel. Bauman had defended Islamic terrorists and blamed Israel for the violence. He had urged pressure on Israel as the solution. Ideas like that fit in at McMaster’s NSC.

Meanwhile Derek Harvey, who had tried to halt Obama’s $221 million terror funding prize to the Palestinian Authority, was forced out.

This too is part of the pattern. As Caroline Glick has pointed out, the personnel being purged in the McMaster coup “are pro-Israel and oppose the Iran nuclear deal.”

When Adam Lovinger urged that “more attention be given to the threat of Iran and Islamic extremism,” his security clearance was revoked.  Robin Townley was forced out in the same way.

Meanwhile, McMaster sent a letter to Susan Rice, Obama’s former National Security Adviser, assuring her that the NSC would work with her to “allow you access to classified information.” He claimed that Rice’s continued access to classified information is “consistent with the national security interests of the United States.”

Why does Susan Rice, who is alleged to have participated in the Obama eavesdropping on Trump people, need access to classified information? What national security purpose is served by it?

The same national security purpose that is served by McMaster’s purge of anyone at the NSC who dares to name Islamic terrorism, who wants a tougher stance on Iran, and who asks tough questions.

And the purge of reformers and original thinkers is only beginning.

The latest reports say that McMaster has a list of enemies who will be ousted from the NSC. And when that is done, the NSC will be a purely Obama-Bush operation. The consensus will be that the Iran Deal must stay, that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism, that we need to find ways to work with the aspirations of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that Israel must make concessions to terrorists.

If you loved the foreign policy that brought us 9/11, ISIS, and billions in funding to terrorists from Syria to Libya to the West Bank, you won’t be able to get enough of McMaster’s brand new NSC.

And neither will America’s enemies.

The swamp is overflowing. The National Security Council is becoming a national security threat.

President Bush was a good man. And he meant well. But he was surrounded by officials who lied to him. They filled his administration with appeasers and paraded Islamists through the Oval Office. And by the time they were done, thousands more Americans had died and Islamists had developed an even bigger foothold on American soil than they had before September 11. This cannot be allowed to happen again.

If you love America, if you believe that Islamic terrorism needs to be fought, not appeased, then it’s time to take a stand against the McMaster coup and his Obama holdover allies, for our security and future.

It’s not just about a bunch of names. It’s about the survival of America.

Also see:

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14 Obama Holdovers Still at the Pentagon

Drew Angerer – Pool/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Kristina Wong, March 16, 2016:

WASHINGTON – There are 14 Obama holdovers still at the Pentagon, two months into the Trump administration.

Currently, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is the only presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed appointee at the Pentagon, out of 53 such positions.

Obama holdovers are filling four of those positions: Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work remains in his position; Robert Speer is serving as Acting Army Secretary; Sean Stackley is serving as Acting Navy Secretary; and Lisa Disbrow as Acting Air Force Secretary.

The Pentagon said there are 10 other Obama holdovers still serving, but has declined to name who they are or what positions they are filling.

Trump has filled an additional 32 slots for non-Senate confirmed positions, for a total of 33 hires, including Mattis. That number is less than a fourth of the 163 political appointees at the Pentagon on election day.

The White House was expected to announce a handful of names for top political positions at the Pentagon as soon as this week, a defense official told Breitbart News. The White House declined to give a time frame for the announcement.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis on Monday brushed off suggestions it was taking longer than usual to get appointees in:

“You have to remember, eight years ago, we kept our secretary — Secretary [Robert] Gates at the time, so a lot of people stayed on with him, and you didn’t have as abrupt of a transition. For those of us who were around 16 years ago, it was pretty abrupt and we saw positions that went unfilled for many months. It takes time to interview, to find the most qualified candidates, to vet them, to get agreement on them, to send them to the Senate for confirmation.”

Trump has also named picks for Pentagon general counsel and Air Force Secretary, but the Senate has not yet confirmed them.

“There will be more to come. It’s a process,” Davis said.  He said Mattis has “put a lot of names forward that are currently going through the final stages of vetting. We think that there will be multiple announcements coming very soon.”

Civil servants and former defense officials say the lack of political appointees has had an effect on Pentagon’s operations.

One civil servant complained privately that the Joint Staff — military staff who support a body of senior military leaders who advise the president — is running “roughshod” over the Office of Secretary of Defense, according to a former defense official.

The former official said civil servants who are filling leadership roles temporarily don’t want to formulate new policies that get ahead of Trump appointees who may change or disagree with them, and either sit silent in meetings or advocate for previous policies.

It’s not clear how that might be affecting several reviews the Pentagon is currently undergoing, including on the strategy to destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), on how to rebuild readiness of the armed forces, and on its nuclear missile defense posture.

Former Obama administration defense official Loren DeJonge Schulman said without a trusted agent from the Trump political team in the building to lead those reviews, it may be a more military-led process.

“There are fewer politicals, there are civilians who are not in power, and President Trump trusts the military more…the [elements] are there to have a more military-led process,” said Schulman, currently deputy director of studies and the Leon E. Panetta Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

“It’s hard to run a strategy review when you don’t have your political leader in place,” she said.

Another official at the Pentagon said it is possible the military is having more influence in policy discussions, but pointed out that at the end of the day, policy decisions go to Mattis, who despite being a retired-four star Marine general, is a civilian.

A spokesman from the Joint Staff said in an email to Breitbart News: “From our perspective, the Joint Staff is being participating, contributing and working collaboratively with OSD fully when, where and how asked,” he said.

Schulman, who first served as a special assistant to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said that what is more worrisome is that the lack of appointees is preventing important work from being done, particularly with foreign partners.

She said, for example,  the prime minister of a small country who is visiting the U.S. may not meet with the president but will often meet with senior defense officials instead.

Now, she said, there is rarely anyone to meet with. Some defense officials have gone overseas to meet with foreign counterparts, but could only sit and listen, not participate or negotiate since they lack policy guidance, she said.

“Any meeting they go to which requires them to have a position or be a part of a negotiation, it either requires them to stay silent, or to rely on the old administration’s policy, or to have to go to Mattis and say, ‘Hey what’s our position on X, Y, and Z,’ and that’s simply not possible for him to weigh in on everything DOD does. That’s why we have political appointees,” said Schulman.

There has also been grumbling from Capitol Hill, with lawmakers complaining there is no one to talk to at the Department.

Schulman said it has always taken awhile for administration to get top appointees in place, such as under secretaries. However, she said under the Obama administration, deputy assistant secretaries put almost immediately in place in priority areas, she said.

“We’re not seeing that here,” she said.

Also see: