The conservative news organization, Breitbart News, published a story on Monday accusing National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster of not briefing President Trump on the collision of the U.S.S. John S. McCain near Singapore.
The report raised speculation that the website will attack opponents of former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who was ousted on Friday and has since returned to his position at Breitbart.
A source with “direct knowledge” of the situation told Breitbart that chief of staff Gen. John Kelly and Gen. McMaster kept Mr. Trump in the dark:
“The original mishap from Trump that caused the ‘that’s too bad’ flap comes because senior staff originally kept the president in the dark about the incident.
Soon after news of the collision broke, Mr. Trump responded to questions from reporters by saying “that’s too bad.”
Later in the night the president tweeted:
The Breitbart story went on to claim that Kelly and McMaster are intentionally feeding the president manipulated information:
“What went wrong is the president was not briefed and was not kept abreast as the incident developed,” the source with direct knowledge told Breitbart News late Sunday evening. ‘This is part of a bigger pattern of growing evidence of disrespect for the president and manipulating the information that is given to him similar to the decision with Afghanistan. The blame for this rests solely on the shoulders of two individuals — General H.R. McMaster and General Kelly — both of whom as flag officers should know better than to keep the commander-in-chief in the dark on these types of issues.’”
Monday’s story comes amid speculation that the conservative site, which was widely credited for helping rally conservative support of Mr. Trump, would turn on the president and attack him.
In a Vanity Fair article published on Sunday, an unnamed Breitbart staffer said the news outlet would help Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) secure the votes to impeach the president if he does not keep his campaign promises. “We’re prepared to help Paul Ryan rally votes for impeachment.”