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What Happens When First National Security Crisis Hits Trump White House?

January 18, 2017

Clearly the most disconcerting read of the day.  But it is not as if were not warned.

“This isn’t getting attention it deserves. Who will run and implement policy? Right now there is a big vacuum,” Max Boot, a military historian and fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, tweeted Tuesday.

With outsiders impatient for Trump to be filling NSC jobs, a new vacancy appeared on the staff chart when Fox News commentator and author Monica Crowley withdrew Monday from her planned appointment as deputy national security adviser for strategic communications amid a plagiarism scandal.

The NSC staffing process is being controlled closely by Trump’s national security adviser-designate, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who, unlike his past several predecessors, has no NSC experience. Flynn’s deputy, K.T. McFarland, served as a typist and a research assistant at the NSC in the Nixon and Ford White Houses before working as a speechwriter and public affairs official in the Reagan Pentagon.

Former NSC aides say that Flynn and McFarland will need seasoned senior-level experience as early in their tenure as possible.

“Unlike State, which can rely on its bureaucracy, the NSC has to be ready on Day One as most of its old team leaves,” said Philip Gordon, who held senior NSC jobs in the Obama and Clinton White Houses. “In a normal world, even before a single presidential phone call or meeting or decision the NSC team would prepare background, points, facts, etc. They will not have a team ready to do that.”

“But it’s not clear Trump operates that way or would use any of the stuff anyway,” Gordon added.

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