When President Trump demanded that South Korea pay for the $1 billion THAAD missile defense system being installed in South Korea, South Korean officials made it clear pretty quickly that wasn’t going to happen. They had an agreement signed, after all, and payment wasn’t part of it.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was quick to try to defuse the issue, insisting that the US would “adhere to our word” and pay for the THAAD, and that Trump’s talk of paying wasn’t official US policy. Apparently he didn’t talk to Trump about that before the call.
Several sources are now reporting that Trump was “furious” over McMaster’s comments to South Korea, got him on the phone and screamed at him, accusing him of “undermining him” on the plan to get South Korea to pay for THAAD.
This comes amid growing reports that McMaster has fallen out of favor within the administration, particularly with Trump, though the White House is insisting Trump still has every confidence in him. That’s not what insiders say, however, with many reporting Trump “regrets” McMaster as a replacement for the sacked Gen. Flynn as National Security Adviser.
Flynn lasted only a few weeks, and while McMaster has lasted a little over two months now, replacing him would likely be a struggle for the administration, he could still find himself the second-shortest serving National Security Adviser in US history.