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Eli Lake

Trump’s 'Axis of Adults' Is Breaking Apart

If you thought grownups like Mattis, McMaster and Tillerson were secretly running the administration, think again.
The president and the grownups.

The president and the grownups.

Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

At a town hall for National Security Council staffers last week, their boss, H.R. McMaster, had a message for those assembled. "There's no such thing as a holdover," the national security adviser said, referring to the career professionals who stayed on the council after the presidential transition in January. McMaster went on to say that career staffers are loyal to the president.

He was responding to a series of tweets from the blogger Mike Cernovich, who singled out some lower-level staffers, by name, as alleged leakers. He was standing by the people who worked for him.