Fired White House staffer argued "deep state" attacked Trump administration because the president represents a threat to cultural Marxist memes, globalists, and bankers.
memo at the heart of the latest blowup at the National Security Council paints a dark picture of media, academics, the “deep state,” and other enemies allegedly working to subvert U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a copy of the document obtained by Foreign Policy.
The seven-page document, which eventually landed on the president’s desk, precipitated a crisis that led to the departure of several high-level NSC officials tied to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. The author of the memo, Rich Higgins, who was in the strategic planning office at the NSC, was among those recently pushed out.
The full memo, dated May 2017, is titled “POTUS & Political Warfare.” It provides a sweeping, if at times conspiratorial, view of what it describes as a multi-pronged attack on the Trump White House.
Trump is being attacked, the memo says, because he represents “an existential threat to cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative.” Those threatened by Trump include “‘deep state’ actors, globalists, bankers, Islamists, and establishment Republicans.”
The memo is part of a broader political struggle inside the White House between current National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and alt-right operatives with a nationalist worldview who believe the Army general and his crew are subverting the president’s agenda.
Though not called out by name, McMaster was among those described in the document as working against Trump, according to a source with firsthand knowledge of the memo and the events. Higgins, the author, is widely regarded as a Flynn loyalist who dislikes McMaster and his team.
“It was about H.R. McMaster,” the source said. “So, when he starts reading it, he knows it’s him and he fires [Higgins].”
The story of the memo’s strange journey through the White House captures the zeitgeist of what has become the tragicomedy of the current White House: a son trying to please his father, an isolated general on a mission to find a leaker, a right-wing blogger with a window into the nation’s security apparatus, and a president whose closest confidante is a TV personality.
The result is an even wider rift between the president and his national security advisor, marking what may be the beginning of the end of the general’s tenure, and a radical shift of power on the NSC.
The controversy over the memo has its origins in a hunt for staffers believed to be providing information to right-wing blogger Mike Cernovich, who seemed to have uncanny insight into the inner workings of the NSC. Cernovich in the past few months has been conducting a wide-ranging campaign against the national security advisor.
“McMaster was just very, very obsessed with this, with Cernovich,” a senior administration official told FP. “He had become this incredible specter.”
In July, the memo was discovered in Higgins’s email during what two sources described to Foreign Policy as a “routine security” audit of NSC staffers’ communications. Another source, however, characterized it as a McCarthy-type leak investigation targeting staffers suspected of communicating with Cernovich.
Higgins, who had worked on the Trump campaign and transition before coming to the NSC, drafted the memo in late May and then circulated the memo to friends from the transition, a number of whom are now in the White House.
After the memo was discovered, McMaster’s deputy, Ricky Waddell, summoned Higgins, who was told he could resign — or be fired, and risk losing his security clearance, according to two sources.