Top Trump aides clashing over direction of US foreign policy

President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, July 31, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)



WASHINGTON (AP) — A long-simmering dispute between two top White House aides has boiled into a public battle over the direction of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.

A cadre of conservative groups is pushing for the ouster of Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster.

Those groups and a website tied to Trump adviser Steve Bannon have targeted McMaster as insufficiently supportive of Israel and insufficiently tough toward Iran.

The dispute reflects the tensions at the heart of Trump’s foreign policy coalition. McMaster is one of several powerful generals in Trump’s orbit who hail from the Republican foreign policy establishment.

But Trump is equally sympathetic to the views of firebrands like Bannon as they try to push the party in a new, isolationist direction embodied by his “America First” doctrine.

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