Army Reserve Major General Ricky Waddell will replace K.T. McFarland as President Donald Trump’s deputy national security adviser, Politico reported on Wednesday.
Waddell will be National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s second-in-command, Politico reported, citing two unnamed officials on the National Security Council.
Reports that McMaster planned to bring on Waddell without White House approval were first surfaced last week by far-right blogger Mike Cernovich, a noted promoter of the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory.
Bloomberg reported in April that McFarland was asked to step down as deputy national security adviser and would be named U.S. ambassador to Singapore.
Her tenure on the council outlasted that of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who brought her onto Trump’s national security team. Flynn left his position in February after reports revealed that he spoke about sanctions in a call with Russia’s ambassador to the United States before Trump’s inauguration.
McFarland in February said that Trump asked her to stay on after Flynn’s ouster, which reportedly scuttled negotiations with Trump’s first pick to replace Flynn as national security adviser. Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, whose name was floated for the job, turned down Trump’s offer after the White House was resistant to his demands to oust McFarland as well.
According to reports published earlier this week by Bloomberg and Politico, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was similarly resistant earlier in May to McMaster’s attempts to bring on Waddell as his deputy. McFarland, according to Politico’s report, has told associates that she will not leave her position on the council “anytime soon.”