Craig Deare, who was, until Friday, serving as the National Security Council’s senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, is now out of a job thanks to some anti-Trump comments he made at a private event at the Woodrow Wilson Center think tank last week, the Associated Press reports.
According to a source who was present at the event, the AP reports, Deare slammed the Trump administration for its poor handling of relations with Latin America. He particularly singled out their treament of Mexico, citing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s decision to cancel his trip to Washington as only one of several alarming signs. Deare expressed frustration that he and his NSC colleagues were frequently cut out of important conversations, with Trump preferring to surround himself with advisors like Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. The same attendee told the AP that Deare also made some “awkward” comments about Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.
On Friday, Deare was fired and escorted from the Executive Office Building. White House Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that Deare would be returning to his former position at the National Defense University, where he was previously a faculty member. When asked if Deare had been let go because of his comments, Sanders said, "I don't think any person that is there in order to carry out the president's agenda should be against the president's agenda." According to CNN, she went on to say, “If you don't support the President's agenda then you shouldn't have a job in the White House."
The move is concerning to say the least, as it indicates that Trump will tolerate no dissension in his White House. (Apparently all disparaging comments made by several of his current aides—including Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer—during the election have been forgotten.) Deare is also the second member of the National Security Council to leave this week, after Michael Flynn was asked to leave over potentially illegal communication with Russia. On Monday afternoon, Trump announced that Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will replace Flynn, calling him “a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.” Trump made the announcement from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.