Recently during a speech at the Atlantic Council — which would be his last public remarks as National Security Adviser — Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster offered harsh words for Russia, and he wasn’t overly complimentary about the way it has been handled.
“We have failed to impose sufficient costs” on Russia, McMaster said at the event, which also included a Q&A with the Presidents of Estonia and Latvia, as well as the Foreign Minister of Lithuania.He added that the failure to impose adequate costs on Russia’s activities meant that “the Kremlin’s confidence is growing.”
“Russia has used old and new forms of aggression to undermine our open societies,” McMaster said.
Lt. General McMaster also said:
“Mr. Putin may believe that he is winning in this new form of warfare,” McMaster said. “Perhaps he believes that our free nations are weak and will not respond to his provocations. He is wrong.”
His remarks impressed many in the audience of foreign diplomats, think tankers, and former U.S. officials, who have grown concerned about Trump’s reluctance to openly criticize Putin. McMaster received a standing ovation when he stepped off the podium.”
The outgoing National Security Adviser also said, “For too long some nations have looked the other way,” and he also warned against those in the US who would “glamorize and apologize” for rogue regimes like Russia.
Chris Matthews, on his NBC show Hardball, juxtaposed McMaster’s stance on Russia against Donald Trump’s recent press conference on Russia. Matthews commented that we only ever seem to get the truth out of Trump staffers once they’re on their way out of the administration.
That holds up, but not even entirely. See: Steve Bannon.