Trump’s action men

Illuminating piece on HR McMaster in the latest New Yorker, in which you can learn not only why he might choose to go by HR rather than his given name but which also suggests President Donald Trump’s proclivity for staffing the higher reaches of his administration with military men. Maybe it is not just because this macho presidency is impressed by war stories…

There may be a more pragmatic explanation, though, for Trump’s preference: he has struggled to fill his Administration with experienced professionals. Many eligible Republicans disqualified themselves by publicly expressing misgivings about Trump’s suitability for the Presidency. Others just didn’t have the stomach for a shit sandwich. But the military prides itself on not being political, and officers tend not to have spoken publicly about their impressions of Trump. “The professional code of the military officer prohibits him or her from engaging in political activity,” McMaster once wrote. Moreover, the military cultivates a sense of duty. Bill Rapp, a retired Army general who has been friends with McMaster for thirty-eight years, told me, “For a military officer, when the President says, ‘I need you to do something,’ there is only one answer.”

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