Claim: Trump Weighed Firing General Over Afghanistan Failures

Andrew Harnik  AP

Most significantly, Trump "suggested" that Mattis and Dunford replace Gen. John Nicholson as commander of US forces in Afghanistan, most likely with current national security adviser Lt. Gen. HR McMaster, who was also present at the meeting, according to Axios.

President Donald Trump has become increasingly frustrated with his advisers tasked with crafting a new US strategy in Afghanistan and recently suggested firing the war's top military commander during a tense meeting at the White House, according to senior administration officials.

Trump has been weighing options for what to do in the almost 16-year-old conflict since taking office, and has entertained ideas from Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford, as well as his National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.

Trump compared the situation to the renovation of 21 Club in 1987, when the elite restaurant closed its doors and hired an expensive consultant.

"We aren't winning", Trump reportedly told Mattis and Dunford, echoing Mattis's sober June 14 assessment of the long war. After a year, Trump said, the consultant's only suggestion was that the restaurant needed a bigger kitchen. According to NBC's sources, Trump "startled" military advisers including Defense Secretary James Mattis with an anecdote comparing their advice to that of a NY restaurant consultant who cost a business profits with lousy advice. Trump ended the two-hour meeting without a decision on a new U.S. strategy for South Asia.

In an MSNBC interview, McMaster defended Nicholson.

When asked if Trump had confidence in Nicholson, McMaster replied, "absolutely". "We are losing." To help make his generals better understand what he was talking about the president of the United States compared USA policy in Afghanistan to the time his favorite restaurant in Manhattan closed down for renovations in the 1980s. John McCain, R-Arizona, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who put the blame for failures in Afghanistan on the White House.

"The irony of all of this is that I think, by now, we should have figured out a military-only solution in Afghanistan will never work".

"If the president doesn't listen to the generals, like Gen. Nicholson and he goes down the road that President Obama went, Afghanistan is going to collapse", Graham added. The president, who was flying home from Germany on July 8, changed the plan and "personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said he and the Russian lawyer had 'primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children, '" the Post said, citing unnamed people with knowledge of the deliberations.

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