Report: NSC Staffer Fired After Writing Memo About ‘Globalists and Islamists’

National security adviser H.R. McMaster listens during the daily press briefing at the White House, Monday, July 31, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

A top official on the White House’s National Security Council was fired in July after authoring a bizarre memo claiming that President Donald Trump was under attack by “globalists and Islamists” and “cultural Marxists,” the Atlantic reported on Wednesday.

Former Department of Defense official Rich Higgins worked in the council’s strategic planning office for only a few months, according to the Atlantic, and was fired on July 21. Higgins’ LinkedIn page does not mention any such stint at the NSC.

The Atlantic reported, citing an unnamed source with direct knowledge of the incident, that Higgins was called into the White House Counsel’s office in July and asked about a memo he wrote two months earlier arguing that “globalists and Islamists recognize that for their visions to succeed, America, both as an ideal and as a national and political identity, must be destroyed.”

Higgins’ memo, which he did not write as part of his official duties, also cited bankers and the “deep state” as threats to Trump’s presidency, according to the Atlantic, and characterized questions about whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia as an attempt to derail Trump’s agenda.

“The left is aligned with Islamist organizations at local, national and international levels,” Higgins claimed, as quoted by the Atlantic. “These attacks narratives are pervasive, full spectrum and institutionalized at all levels.”

At the end of the week, per the report, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s (pictured above) deputy Rick Waddell fired Higgins.

The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment. NSC spokesman Michael Anton told the Atlantic that the White House does not comment on internal personnel matters and declined to comment on Higgins’ firing in particular.

McMaster fired Trump’s top Middle East adviser Derek Harvey in late July, and did not immediately announce a replacement. Harvey was the latest in a line of staffers McMaster ousted since taking over from Michael Flynn in February.

He moved to dismiss Fox News commentator K.T. McFarland as deputy national security adviser in April, and replaced her with Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Ricky Waddell, reportedly without first seeking White House approval.

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Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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